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UPDATE: Guy Flips Unimog in Big Bend, Forcing Trail Closure

Update: More details have been found on the incident, and added below. We all have bad days, but some are worse than others. Take this poor soul for example, who seems to have flopped his beautiful expedition truck on a mild trail in southern Texas. From what we can gather, the driver was tackling Old Ore Road, a 26-mile track through the eastern side of Big Bend National Park, when he managed to unsettle the vehicle enough to tip the truck 9.4 miles from the south entrance, just south of Ernst Basin. There’s no official report of how the incident occurred, but from the story we’ve been forwarded, the incident unfolded something like this:

The driver was heading down Old Ore Road around 2:00 p.m. when he came upon a large dropoff on the right side of the trail. Weary of slipping off the side of the shelf, he took the inside line. Shortly after, his inside tires began to wash out into the ditch. At this point, things happened fast, and the driver states he was a little hazy on exactly what occurred next, but it appears his foot slipped off the brake as the truck dropped off the edge, accelerating the vehicle up a rock on the embankment. This forced the Unimog over, trapping the driver in the cab.

Luckily for him, Brian Ramay and his wife happened upon the accident just minutes later, finding fuel, oil, and water pouring from the now sideways truck. Upon reaching the vehicle, they pulled the driver out of the now skyward facing window, which can be seen in the lead image above. They checked him over, then proceeded back to a point with cell service a few miles back in order to inform the park rangers of the incident.

Rangers are working to clear the path, but state that it may take a few days to extract the behemoth. In the meantime, the official park office states that you may access Ernst Tinaja and La Noria from the south entrance or Willow Tank and Ernst Basin from the north entrance, but vehicles cannot drive through or around. For more information, contact the Big Bend National Park office at (432) 477-2251.

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.


  • Waveslider

    December 12th, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I’ve been turned around countless times on trails where some windowlicker has flipped his jeep and blocked the trail. I usually helped. Sometimes not.

    Never saw the need to do a write up on it. But I guess that was before everyone had an axe to grind…….and a public wheel to pedal.

    • rovermartin

      December 17th, 2018 at 8:00 am

      I think this story is a bit more significant considering it is a $200k+ overlanding machine rather than a typical Jeep. We were on Black Bear Pass last year and saw a nicely kitted 5th Gen 4Runner who rolled on a small shelf. Having a spotter can help keep you upright. Physics can hurt. This Unimog appears to have a very high center of gravity and a lot of mass.

  • Skip Torrans

    December 17th, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Just came back from BB and saw the Unimog. From the apparent evidence, the guy drove up the left side of the trail, going well up onto the wall which forced the roll over. Pretty much a rooky move but I wasn’t there so I’m just going by the tire tracks. I sure hope when they do right it, there’s a video but this is a crazy big beast in a not easy spot!

    • Eric Lee

      December 20th, 2018 at 11:57 am

      It appears that there is an effort underway today to get it off the trail. Dec. 20. Only three weeks later! Government vehicles and airbag towing/recovery company trailer at south trail entrance.

  • Tracy Thorleifson

    December 20th, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    The Old Ore Road is a booger on a DR650. You gotta be a special brand of nuts to tackle it in a Unimog. LOL! Bravo! Next, on to Black Gap! 🙂

  • Gustavo Jimenez

    December 21st, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Vehicle was cleared from trail late yesterday evening (12/20). Light cosmetic damage to vehicle. Air bag recovery prevented further damage. Unimog was move to a location off the trail before it can be driven out after mechanical inspection.

  • mark vandyne

    December 22nd, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Was recovered, we we’re lucky it was just open for our day on the trail on yesterday. Big bend is certainly worth a winter trip to escape the cold!

  • Jim

    February 17th, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Not to be a dick, but that rig looks like a rollover standing still. Long as he’s got everything else piled on there, might as well ad a pair of deploy-able outriggers and carry his own air bag recovery system. Maybe drag a trailer load of earth anchors as well. Ironic touch when fuel gets dumped out in the wilderness. Something to think about preventing if ya go inverted. Rollover bad, rollover + dehydration mo’ bad.