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The Gold Rush Moment That Went Too Far

Tough guys, big trucks, gold, and the liberal use of TV's censorship "bleep" are all integral parts of The Discovery Channel's reality TV show "Gold Rush." The series revolves around contemporary prospectors Rick Ness, Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets, and Fred Lewis as they brave the untapped countryside to strike gold in them thar hills. Their efforts don't always have a happy ending, but they've been successful enough so far to make it for 12 seasons and counting, so that's definitely saying something.

When most people think of gold prospecting, they probably imagine a grizzled old man using a sifting pan to fish shiny rocks out of a babbling brook. However, as the show clearly demonstrates, the process is usually a lot more complicated — and dangerous — than that. Sometimes, risks have to be taken in order to get the job done. And one such risk marked a milestone in the show's history, where things went way too far.

A truck crash almost ended a crew member's life

In the Season 9, Episode 18 "Make it Rain," Rick feels like he is in a race against time to excavate a patch of rapidly freezing mud before the cold temperatures make the ground unmanageable. Despite the icy conditions, Rick angrily declares "F— you, ice!" and calls in another truck to speed things along. 

Unfortunately, the situation soon escalates in a way that nobody could have predicted. The driver of the extra vehicle loses control on the slippery road, ramming into another vehicle where a member of the show's film crew was trying to mount a GoPro camera.

In a YouTube clip of the accident, you can clearly see the crew member holding on for dear life as the collision rocks the vehicle that she is standing on. A moment later, she falls flailing to the ground. Thankfully, she only received minor injuries, including a cut above her eye — which was quickly treated — as she was carted off to receive medical attention. However, the event rocked the crew so hard that Rick immediately decided to cut the day short in hopes of avoiding any more dangerous incidents. Ending the day early means that he might have missed out on some literal pay dirt, but it was the smart and responsible thing to do, considering just how much worse the previous accident could have gone.