UPDATE: Idaho Falls woman, horse killed in I-15 crash; man charged with vehicular manslaughter

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22  Updated at 5:34 pm, June 28th, 2017 By: Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
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UPDATE: Details about the man arrested for vehicular manslaughter.

Photos by Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.

The following is a news release from Idaho State Police:

On June 28, at approximately 4:55 p.m., the Idaho State Police investigated a fatality crash northbound Interstate 15 at milepost 111, just south of Idaho Falls.

Dirk Johnson, 59, of Idaho Falls, was traveling northbound in an empty gravel truck in the construction zone when traffic began to slow. Johnson was unable to slow down and veered into oncoming traffic.

Shirley Williams, 65, of Idaho Falls, was traveling southbound in a Dodge 2500 pickup truck pulling a horse trailer.

Mark Weidner, 44, of Pocatello, was traveling behind Johnson in a Nissan Maxima. Johnson struck Williams’ pickup truck head-on, struck the horse trailer, then struck Weidner’s vehicle.

Williams was transported by ground ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries. The horse in Williams’ horse trailer died from injuries at the scene of the crash. Johnson and Weidner were not injured. All drivers were wearing seat belts.

All lanes of travel are still currently blocked at this time. Next of kin have been notified.

Johnson was arrested on vehicular manslaughter and booked into Bingham County Jail.

This crash is under investigation by the Idaho State Police. The Idaho State Police was assisted by the Idaho Transportation Department and the Bonneville County Sheriffs Department.

ORIGINAL STORY

IDAHO FALLS — A three-vehicle crash involving a sedan, a semi-truck and a pickup hauling a horse trailer has traffic backed up for miles in both directions on Interstate 15.

The crash occurred around 5 p.m. Wednesday under an overpass near Melaleuca Global Headquarters and Exit 113. The crash is in a construction zone where traffic going in both directions flows through the northbound lanes.

A horse was thrown from the trailer and killed on impact. The driver of the pickup had to be extricated from the vehicle.

The semi-truck jackknifed under the overpass, and the car sustained damage to its front.

It’s unclear how many people were involved in the crash. Officials say at least one person is critically injured.

Idaho State Police and Idaho Falls EMS responded to the wreck.

There is no word on when the crash will be cleared.

EastIdahoNews.com will update this as more details are released.

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22 Comments

  • Chris Dontneedtoknow says:

    Holy crap! Nothing left of the truck/trailer. Did the semi hit them straight on?

  • Janice Daprato Smith says:

    I hope and pray the lady is ok. He truck looks horrible.

  • FatKat says:

    Are you serious? A big rig driver not paying attention to traffic and travelling too close that he could not stop in a construction zone? You think he should walk away without consequence?

  • DianaDVB says:

    Seems a bit out there?? Really? He killed someone because he didn’t bother to keep his vehicle under control. He ran into and over a pickup truck, through the horse trailer behind it, and hit the car behind the trailer.

  • VickiMT says:

    And died from her injuries.

  • VickiMT says:

    Obviously you know nothing about the law or about driving a semi. This guy was pulling an empty trailer. If he had not been speeding, not paying attention and not following too close he would have been able to stop. I call that grossly negligent.

  • Jackie Phillips says:

    Vehicular manslaughter is when a person is killed in a vehicle and the driver was at fault. It says he was at fault since he was speeding and unable to slow down and hit the truck and trailer. Level of fault is irrelevant. That will come out in sentencing.

  • Karen Somers Kusey says:

    Yes, he should have. My reflexes would have told me to go right.

  • Karen Somers Kusey says:

    He was going too fast. Whatever he is charged with, it needs to be something. Can only guess what his thoughts where to swerve into oncoming traffic rather than going onto the shoulder where it was open.

  • Joseph7 says:

    i wonder if the gravel truck’s brakes failed?

  • Emma M says:

    I feel bad saying so, but my pregnant daughter of 8 1/2 months was in a car right in front of that semi with her husband and if he (semi) hadn’t turned off into oncoming traffic, a lot more people would have died, which I’m thankful for. The semi could not go between lanes because he had those big pillars coming up, so his only choice was to make a decision and hope it was the right one. With air brakes he couldn’t stop fast enough. I thank God he made the decision he did. And I feel awful because of that poor woman and her horse. I was on the phone with my daughter as it happened. She was late coming over and told me the traffic was backed up as the semi was heading straight for them. Her husband pulled the car between another car and railings as the semi came toward them and then veered off. I believe she said the semi nicked the pickup behind them. I am praying for that family who lost someone. It so very easily could have been mine.

    • SL says:

      😡😡 what an awful comment!

      • Emma M says:

        please see my comment above. I never meant it the way I think you understood it. I’m sorry if I offended you.

    • Cindy Wysowski says:

      Just read your response. That is the rudest I have ever seen. You should have stuck to the facts and not add that your glad he killed someone else and not your daughter. Think how you would take that if it was your family member it happened to. You were very insensitive to them. God don’t like Ugly!

  • Emma M says:

    There was a hill and pillars to the right. No turn. I can only venture to guess, where it was only a split second decision, that he pulled in the center (usually safe zone) and then noticed big pillars and kept going into oncoming traffic.

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