The summer months are the deadliest time of year on Idaho’s roads and that was definitely the case on Friday in East Idaho when three people died in separate crashes.
None of those killed in the crashes was wearing a seat belt, state police pointed out. A child was seriously injured in one of the wrecks and was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment.
Authorities identified the deceased as Rheanna D. Archer, 26, of American Falls; Andrea Vanmiddendorp, 39, of Idaho Falls; and Carlos Lopez, 27, of Aberdeen.
Archer was the passenger in a 2018 Nissan Sentra driven by Thomas Z. Stamus, 24, of Pocatello. While driving eastbound on East Fork Mink Creek Road south of Pocatello around 11:30 p.m. Friday, “Stamus failed to negotiate a left turn in the roadway and veered off the right shoulder down an embankment,” state police said.
Emergency responders had to extricate Stamus from his wrecked car at the bottom of the embankment.
Archer was pronounced dead at the scene while Stamus was airlifted via emergency helicopter to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, state police said. Despite the mountainous terrain in the area of the crash, the helicopter managed to land at the scene to transport Stamus to the hospital.
Stamus was severely injured in the crash and was airlifted to a hospital in Utah soon after arriving at PMC, authorities said. A condition update on him was not available on Saturday.
State police said neither Stamus nor Archer was wearing a seat belt and the crash was alcohol-related.
Vanmiddendorp was pronounced dead at the scene after crashing her 1991 Ford Explorer while traveling northbound on North Sunny Bar Road near Howe around 7 p.m. Friday.
A child was the only other occupant of the vehicle and suffered serious injuries. The child was airlifted via emergency helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls following the crash. The child’s name and condition were not available from authorities on Saturday.
State police said the crash occurred when “Vanmiddendorp swerved the vehicle to the left and then swerved back to the right. The passenger side tires went off the roadway into the gravel. Vanmiddendorp overcorrected back to the left, the vehicle went into a broad slide and overturned on the roadway. The vehicle then traveled off the left side of the roadway and through a fence.”
While Vanmiddendorp was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, the child did have a seat belt on.
Lopez died in a fiery crash around 3:50 a.m. Friday on Philbin Road near Siphon Road in Chubbuck.
State police said Lopez was driving northbound on Philbin in a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer when he “went off the right shoulder (and) overcorrected. The car went back across the roadway (and) off the left shoulder, where it rolled. It came to rest on its wheels and caught on fire. Lopez was ejected from the vehicle and succumbed to his injuries at the scene.”
Lopez, the lone occupant of the vehicle, was not wearing a seat belt.
All three crashes remain under investigation by Idaho State Police.