5 killed and 6 injured during weekend crashes in eastern Idaho
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IDAHO FALLS – Families across eastern Idaho are mourning the deaths of their loved ones after numerous crashes on east Idaho roads over the weekend.
Five people were killed and six others were injured in several different crashes. Idaho State Police Lt. Chris Weadick tells EastIdahoNews.com it’s been an emotional weekend for everyone involved.
“These deaths are very tragic for the families involved and for the first responders that have had to investigate and be a part of documenting these crashes,” Weadick says.
3 killed, 1 hurt in St. Anthony
The first crash happened Friday near St. Anthony and involved four teenagers, including South Fremont High School students Mitchell Hansen and Liam Buchanan and Sugar-Salem High School students Natalia McCoy and Lyndsie Young.
Natalia died shortly after impact. Mitchell and Liam died from their injuries at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
EIRMC spokesperson Coleen Niemann says Lyndsie is in serious condition as of Monday afternoon.
The teens were reportedly well-known in their communities and many have swarmed social media offering well wishes and sympathy for their families.
Lyndsie’s twin sister, Kaitlyn, provided an update on Facebook Sunday, along with a tribute to her friends.
“Lyndsie is in critical condition and fighting for her life in the ICU. Thank you to everyone for the prayers and love,” she wrote. “Thank you guys for being some of the best friends I could ever ask for I hope you guys are still doing flips up there, fly high.”
Natalia and Mitchell both worked at Big J’s Pizza & Burgers in St. Anthony. Owner Lisa Thompson says 100% of Saturday’s earnings will be donated to the families of the victims. She could not be reached for comment Monday.
1 killed in Pocatello, 1 killed in Ashton
On Sunday afternoon, 63-year-old Terry Smith of Moore was killed after being thrown from his motorcycle south of Pocatello. About five hours later, 57-year-old David Hobbs of St. Anthony died in a three-car crash on Highway 20 near Ashton. His wife, Debra, was taken by ambulance to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg and released later that night.
Family members say David was a “quiet force for good” and has been Debra’s best friend for more than 40 years.
“He is a dedicated family man who was a strong influence for kids in the community, as well as his own three boys and grandchildren,” according to a statement from the family.
Others involved in Sunday’s crash were Todd and Syanna Kawakami of Chino, California. They had two teenage passengers in the car with them. Todd is reportedly in critical condition at EIRMC and Syanna was treated and released. Information about the passengers was not available.
The cause of these crashes has not been released and remains under investigation.
Reminder from ISP
Weadick says the summer months are considered the deadliest days of driving because of the number of people on the road. Outdoor recreation remains high despite COVID-19, he says, which has an impact on travel. Weadick says staying engaged and avoiding distracted and aggressive driving can help prevent crashes.
“We just passed a hands-free law July 1 that adds another very important piece of the puzzle to keeping drivers engaged and focused on their driving,” says Weadick. “The simple act of buckling up saves people’s lives. Be patient, be mindful of other people, be respectful and be a part of the solution.”
Weadick is encouraging people to report any traffic hazards or safety violations by calling 911 or *477.
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