Young brother and sister killed in horrific crash; responder has near-fatal heart attack at scene
MCCAMMON — A young brother and sister from Pocatello are among the three people who died Sunday afternoon in a horrific head-on collision that shut down Highway 30 for several hours near McCammon.
Authorities confirmed that 15-year-old Eric Neibaur, a member of the Century High School football team, and his sister Lauren Neibaur, 13, both died in the 12:42 p.m. wreck along with Jay Lanningham, 70, of Nampa.
A female juvenile from the Nampa area suffered critical injuries in the crash and an emergency responder with Bannock County Search and Rescue nearly died at the scene when he suffered a massive heart attack. The names of the injured girl and responder have not yet been released.
The wreck occurred when Eric Neibaur was driving westbound on Highway 30 in a red 1999 Chevrolet C1500 pickup truck with his sister and drifted into the eastbound lanes, colliding head-on with an eastbound white 2011 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Lanningham. The female 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 girl who was a passenger in Lanningham’s SUV 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 is expected to survive. The Neibaurs and Lanningham all died at the scene, authorities said. 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 Sunday evening that he is expected to survive.
Highway 30 was shut down for over five hours because of the crash.
This story originally appeared in the Idaho State Journal. It is posted here with permission.