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UPDATE: ITD employee was on the job when killed in crash

Idaho Falls

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Screenshot of a video taken at the crash site | Courtesy Aaron Baker

UPDATE

ARCO — The Idaho Transportation Department says the man killed while driving a backhoe was on the job.

Mark Reinke, 56, was driving the backhoe along the roadway while performing roadwork, according to an ITD news release. Reinke began working for the department last summer.

“At ITD, we value every single employee, and losing any one of them is like losing a member of the family,” said ITD Director Brian Ness said in the news release. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark’s loved ones, and to those in District 6 who had the privilege of working with Mark.”

The department says since 1960 40 ITD employees have lost their lives while on the job.

Mark Reinke | Courtesy Idaho Transportation Department

ORIGINAL STORY

ARCO — Idaho State Police are investigating a two-vehicle fatality crash that occurred on westbound U.S. Highway 20/26 near Arco.

The crash happened at about 7 a.m. Thursday, according to an ISP news release.

Police reports show Mark Reinke, 56, of Howe, was westbound on US 20/26 at milepost 253 in a backhoe. Felipe Saldana Blanco, 64, of Terreton, was driving behind the backhoe in a 2005 Peterbilt semi pulling two trailers. The Peterbilt struck the backhoe from behind.

Both vehicles went off the right shoulder.

Both Reinke and Saldana Blanco were wearing seatbelts. Reinke was transported to Lost Rivers Medical Center in Arco by ground ambulance, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The westbound lanes of travel were blocked for approximately two hours.

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