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New information, names of victims released in fatal 3-car crash near Ashton


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ASHTON – Idaho State Police are investigating a three-vehicle crash that left one man dead and sent three people to the hospital Sunday evening.

A news release from ISP indicates the crash occurred a little before 5 p.m. on U.S. Highway 20 at milepost 367 north of Ashton.

Fifty-three-year-old Todd Kawakami of Chino, California was traveling eastbound in a 2016 Honda Odyssey. He had three passengers with him, including 46-year-old Syanna Kawakami and two teenagers.

Thirty-year-old Vitalie Nebesnii of Rexburg and 57-year-old David Hobbs of St. Anthony were traveling westbound. Nebesnii was driving a 2015 Toyota Corolla and Hobbs was driving a 2017 GMC Sierra pulling a boat. ISP reports Nebesnii was traveling with his wife and infant daughter, and Hobb’s passenger was 57-year-old Debra Hobbs.

Kawakami crossed the center line, hit Nebesnii and then hit Hobb’s vehicle. Hobbs then hit the guardrail and died shortly thereafter, according to ISP. Debra was taken by ambulance to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg.

Todd was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. His passengers arrived by ambulance later.

Nebessni was not hospitalized.

ISP did not release the condition of the victims who were hospitalized. Their families have been notified.

The cause of the crash is still being determined.

Both lanes were blocked for about six hours as crews worked to clean up the wreckage.