Friday, July 1, 2011

Traffic accident kills Hailey woman

Philanthropist Dayle Fowler remembered as generous woman who avoided publicity

Express Staff Writer

Dayle Fowler

Dayle Fowler is remembered as a generous woman who liked to keep her generosity private.

A philanthropist from Hailey, Fowler for years was the main sponsor for the annual Jazz in the Park festival in Ketchum, was active with the nonprofit Sawtooth Botanical Garden and provided help and funding to numerous other nonprofit organizations in the Wood River Valley.

"She wasn't out promoting her name or anything—she did everything under the radar," said Carter Hedberg, executive director of the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, located south of Ketchum. "She just wanted to help the community."

Fowler, 62, was killed Tuesday in a four-vehicle traffic accident on U.S. Highway 93 northeast of Jerome. Sketchy details of the accident were released Tuesday evening by Idaho State Police, but no new information was available from ISP on Thursday.

According to ISP, the accident occurred at about 12:12 p.m. in a highway construction zone. ISP reported that Fowler, northbound and driving a 2003 Lexus SUV, was stopped temporarily for construction work and for "unknown reasons" was outside of her vehicle.

She was then hit by a northbound Volvo truck tractor driven by Byrus Gatewood, 47, of West Valley, Utah. ISP reported that the truck then struck Fowler's vehicle and two other cars waiting ahead of her on the highway.

< Fowler was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. ISP reported that there were no other injuries.

According to ISP, two other Blaine County residents were the drivers of the vehicles stopped ahead of Fowler. They were identified as Jeffrey Bacon, 46, of Hailey, driving a 1999 Toyota 4Runner, and William Smallwood, 80, of Sun Valley, driving a 2011 Kia Optima. They were not injured.

ISP reported Tuesday that the accident was still under investigation.

In addition to her philanthropy and fundraising efforts, Fowler served on the board of directors of the Sawtooth Botanical Garden.

"She was very active, very hands-on," Hedberg said. "For me, what she always did were the little things, special things she did to help with fundraising.

"People involved in philanthropy know who she was. She made contributions to a lot of organizations.

"I haven't know her as well as others. All I know is she really touched me. She was very generous. It's just such a loss to the community."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress

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