MCCAMMON — Three people are dead and another is in critical condition after a head-on collision Sunday afternoon on Highway 30 near this Bannock County town.
In addition an emergency responder with Bannock County Search and Rescue nearly died at the scene of the 12:42 p.m. wreck when he suffered a severe heart attack.
Authorities said a male juvenile, a female juvenile and an older man died and another female juvenile is in critical condition as a result of the crash involving a pickup truck and SUV.
State police identified the deceased adult as Jay Lanningham, 70, of Nampa, but the names of the two deceased juveniles have not yet been released. Authorities did confirm that both of the deceased juveniles are teenagers from Pocatello; it’s believed the injured juvenile is from the Nampa area. The name of the Bannock County Search and Rescue member who had the heart attack has also not yet been released.
The male and female juvenile who died were in a westbound red 1999 Chevrolet C1500 pickup truck driven by the male that collided head-on with an eastbound white 2011 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Lanningham. The juvenile who was critically injured was a passenger in Lanningham’s SUV.
State police said they have a good idea of what caused the wreck but they’re not going to release that information until completing their investigation.
All four of the accident victims were trapped in their vehicles, both of which suffered catastrophic front-end damage.
A Bannock County sheriff’s deputy was the first responder at the scene and he was met by family members of the victims who were trying to extricate them from their wrecked vehicles. The family members were apparently following in other vehicles and saw the accident happen. The scene was incredibly gruesome and chaotic, according to Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen, and after the incident the deputy who was first on the scene was given the rest of the day off.
Two emergency helicopters and multiple ambulances were dispatched to the wreck.
State police said the injured girl was airlifted via emergency helicopter from the accident scene to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello. Authorities said she is currently listed in critical condition but she is expected to survive. The three deceased individuals all died at the scene.
Other than the three people who died and the injured girl, there were no other occupants in the vehicles.
The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office reported that a member of the county’s search and rescue unit suffered a severe heart attack at the accident scene. Authorities said the responder was helping to remove the bodies from the wrecked vehicles when he went into cardiac arrest. Ambulance personnel at the scene had to revive him via a portable defibrillator. The responder was then transported by ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center. The Sheriff’s Office reported early Saturday evening that he is expected to survive.
Highway 30 was shut down for over five hours because of the crash but has since reopened.
This article was originally published in the Idaho State Journal. It is used here with permission.
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com