HAZELTON — A crash involving multiple vehicles on Interstate 84 on May 14 caused one fatality and multiple injuries.
Idaho Fish and Game employee Douglas Megargle, 52, Jerome, died as a result of the six vehicle collision, according to an Idaho State Police statement.
Idaho State Police responded to the crash at 2:47 p.m. near milepost 191 in Jerome County near Hazelton.
The incident began when Keith G. Witt, 54, Brigham City, Utah; Jake D. Sluder, 24, Twin Falls; Kyle E. Hoskins, 31, Jerome, and Megargle slowed to a stop due to limited visibility caused by heavy winds and rain, along with a sudden dust storm covering the westbound lanes of the interstate.
Filimon B. Miranda, 58, Twin Falls, failed to stop the 2015 Mack truck he was driving and hit the rear of Megargle’s vehicle.
After being struck, Megargle’s vehicle spun out of control, hitting the rear of Hoskins’ truck.
Miranda’s truck continued moving west, also colliding with Hoskins’ vehicle, which was pushed off the right shoulder of the interstate and through a fence.
Miranda’s truck also struck Sluder’s vehicle, which then struck the rear of Witt’s truck.
Wilma L. Benefiel, 72, Mesa, Arizona, also failed to stop her 2018 Toyota Sequoia, striking the rear of Megargle’s vehicle. Susan H. Leavitt, 74, also of Mesa, was a passenger in Benefiel’s vehicle.
Megargle was pronounced dead at the scene, ISP said. His passenger, Sally F. Rose, 60, Jerome, was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, Twin Falls, then later airlifted to Portneuf Medical Center, Pocatello, where she is in critical condition, according to Fish and Game.
Megargle was the Magic Valley Regional Fisheries manager and a full-time Fish and Game employee for 22 years. Rose is the offices services supervisor for the Magic Valley Region and an 18-year Fish and Game employee. Both were on duty when the crash happened.
“As friends and colleagues, our thoughts and prayers are with Sally, and with Doug’s family, during this difficult time,” Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever said in a Wednesday morning statement. “Doug was a respected fishery professional who I have personally worked with for many years, and I am heartbroken about this tragedy. Sally is a leader among our administrative support staff, and we will do everything we can to support her recovery.”
In 120 years, Megargle is the 11th Fish and Game employee lost in the line of duty and the second to lose his life in a car accident, the department said. The first was in 1959.
Hoskins was driven by private vehicle to St. Luke’s Magic Valley, ISP said. An ambulance took Miranda to St. Luke’s Magic Valley.
The westbound lanes of Interstate 84 reopened at 7:47 p.m.
The occupants of the vehicles were wearing seatbelts, according to the ISP statement. The Jerome County Sheriff’s Office, Jerome County Rural Fire Department, Magic Valley Paramedics and Idaho Transportation Department assisted with the incident and investigation.