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Local 6-year-old survives crash in Nevada that killed her mom and two other eastern Idahoans

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Lauren Starcevich, left, and her daughter, Emerson, with her fiancee, Michael Durmeier, and his kids Georgia and Jackson. | Facebook

IDAHO FALLS – A Driggs man is grateful his daughter is safe after she survived a fatal crash near Las Vegas over the weekend.

Josh Myers tells EastIdahoNews.com his daughter, 6-year-old Emerson, walked away with a broken wrist and some bumps and scrapes following a crash on U.S. Highway 95 in Nye County on Saturday afternoon.

“She is literally unscathed,” Myers says, tearing up. “She is amazing. She is one of the strongest damn kids I’ve ever seen.”

Emerson was traveling with her mom, Lauren Starcevich, of Victor, and her fiancee, Michael Durmeier, and his son Jackson and daughter Georgia, also of Victor. Lauren was killed in the crash, along with Michael and Georgia. Jackson remains hospitalized in Las Vegas.

Myers arrived home with his daughter Tuesday afternoon. He broke down as he recalled his daughter’s reaction to the news of her mother’s death.

“It’s been hard on her since Saturday when I had to tell her that her mom didn’t make it. Today, she’s been herself, which is really hard because I know she’s dying inside,” says Myers. “I don’t really know what’s going through her mind, but she was skipping through the airport.”

The Nevada Highway Patrol’s preliminary investigation reveals the crash occurred just before 4 p.m. Saturday. An Arizona man driving northbound in a 1998 Ford F-150 hit the southbound vehicle occupied by Emerson and her mom, a 2011 Toyota Highlander.

The Ford hit the Toyota on its front left side. The Highlander rolled multiple times, and Lauren and two of the kids were thrown from the vehicle.

The Toyota Highlander after it rolled. | Courtesy Nevada Highway Patrol

“Emerson was the only one (that was buckled), and it saved her life,” Myers says. “She woke up in the car upside down, unbuckled herself and crawled out of the windshield.”

A woman saw her walking around and stayed with her until authorities arrived, Myers says.

An investigation is still underway, but authorities believe the driver of the Ford was impaired. His current condition is unknown, but he was hospitalized in serious condition Saturday.

Jackson is 10, according to a GoFundMe page. Myers isn’t sure of his exact condition, but he says the boy is heavily sedated and is “doing much better.”

After three sleepless nights in the hospital, Myers knows there will be some rough days ahead as he helps his daughter recover without her mother around. He’s incredibly grateful Emerson is still alive.

“I’m thankful … that my little girl is going to make a full recovery physically, but I don’t know how this road’s going to be and what she’s going to deal with. She loved her mom very much, and her mom loved her very much. I can’t provide what her mom did, but I have to try everything I can,” says Myers.

A GoFundMe created on Lauren and Emerson’s behalf has raised more than $10,000 since it was launched Tuesday morning. A GoFundMe for Georgia and Jackson went live Monday and was more than halfway to its $20,000 goal as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Myers is the beneficiary of another GoFundMe created in Emerson’s behalf.

The Ford F-150 following Saturday’s crash. | Courtesy Nevada Highway Patrol

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: EastIdahoNews.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.

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