Friday, October 29, 2010

Timmerman crash victim in critical condition

Gregory Cappel, 2 other Bellevue residents injured Wednesday


The driver of this Audi station wagon suffered serious injuries Wednesday after the car was hit by a pickup truck, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office reported. Photo by David N. Seelig

Bellevue resident Gregory Cappel, 53, was in critical condition Thursday following a two-vehicle collision at Timmerman Junction, south of Bellevue, on Wednesday. Two other Bellevue residents were injured in the accident.

According to a news release from the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, Cappel's 2006 Audi A4 station wagon was stopped in the eastbound lane of U.S. Highway 20 at its junction with state Highway 75 at about 1:38 p.m. A 2008 Jeep Patriot driven by Kenneth Ruzicka, 56, of Boise, which was stopped in the opposite westbound lane, then pulled into the path of a southbound 2001 Chevrolet pickup driven by James Pickering, 48, of Shoshone, the report said.

Sheriff's Lt. Jay Davis said Pickering turned to the right to avoid colliding with the Jeep and crashed into Cappel's car.

Cappel was taken by air ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Cappel's passengers, Denise Simone, 51, and Russel Simone Wilson, 19, both of Bellevue, were transported by ambulance to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, where they were treated and released.

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Pickering was not seriously injured in the accident.

Davis said Ruzicka would be cited for failure to yield.

Cappel has been a frequent volunteer at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey, where Simone works as an actress and director for the Company of Fools theater troupe. Currently, Simone is artistic director for Company of Fools' production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf." The theater company canceled its Wednesday performance of the play but stated that it planned to continue its run on Thursday.

Timmerman Junction was the scene of 37 traffic accidents between the years 2000 and 2009, according to Idaho Transportation Department statistics. Forty-six people were injured in the crashes during that 10-year period.

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