OREM — Gubernatorial candidate Morgan Philpot made his first endorsement of 2012 Sunday evening, but it wasn't for a candidate, it was for Nissan.

The former Utah lawamaker and candidate for governor jokingly made the endorsement on his Facebook page after surviving an accident Saturday while traveling along U.S. 40 near Daniels Summit in a Nissan truck. Philpot and two campaign supporters were returning from campaign events in Vernal when their vehicle hit a spot of ice, plunged down a 100-foot embankment and rolled at least once.

"The snow really came on real sudden," Philpot said. "We hit a spot of ice and snow and next thing you know, we were headed to the edge."

Philpot said the next thing he remembered was a stranger yelling to him.

"Once we got out of the car, a gentleman, I don't know who he is ... came out, threw a rope over the side and pulled us up," he said.

The stranger left without giving a name, and Philpot said he was grateful.

The three occupants suffered only minor injuries. Philpot had a bump on his shin, one supporter had a cut on his head and the other a bump on his head.

Hunter Schwarz