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On Saturday, August 10, 2019, at approximately 1:19 a.m., Blaine County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 20 at milepost 173, east of Hot Springs Landing.
The collision occurred at the site of a temporary traffic signal for the Idaho Transportation Department’s bridge construction project south of Bellevue, Idaho. Upon arrival, deputies located a white 1995 Dodge Pickup in the roadway with extensive front end damage which was driven by Mathew R. Park, age 46 from Fairfield, Idaho. The second vehicle, a Blue 2000 Dodge Neon, driven by Somchai Ray Lee Lurak, age 26 of Mountain Home, Idaho, had extensive rear-end damage. Also in the Dodge Neon was front passenger Emma Weigand, age 26 of Mountain Home, Idaho, and three young female children in the rear seats: age 5, age 3, and age 6. All three children were in car seats.
From the investigation, deputies determined Lurak and his passengers were traveling westbound on Hwy 20 and were stopped at the construction site. Park was also traveling westbound on Hwy 20 and collided with the rear of the Dodge Neon in the westbound lane.
Two of the children died at the scene. The 3-year-old later passed away at the hospital. Lurak was flown by air ambulance with serious injuries and is currently listed in critical condition. Weigand was initially transported to St. Luke’s in Ketchum. Weigand was later transferred to St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho for her injuries. Park, the driver of the Dodge Pickup appeared uninjured and declined medical assistance.
Deputies reported Park showed signs of intoxication. Park was given field sobriety tests and provided breath samples. Park was arrested and transported to the Blaine County Detention Center and has remained in custody. Park will be arraigned Monday afternoon for two counts of felony Aggravated Driving Under the Influence, I.C. 18-8006, and three counts of felony Vehicular Manslaughter, I.C. 18-4006(3)(B).
The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of this investigation and has asked for assistance from the Idaho State Police with accident reconstruction.
No further details are being released and this case remains under investigation.
Sheriff Steve Harkins
Posted August 12, 2019 @ 12:00 pm
CONTACT: Holly Carter – Blaine County Sheriff’s Office (208) 788-5536 End.###