Wednesday, August 1, 2012

5 injured in crash at Timmerman

Sheriff reports conditions safer since lower speed limit put in place

Express Staff Writer

Five people were transported to St. Luke's Wood River early Saturday morning following a two-vehicle crash at Timmerman Junction south of Bellevue.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office reported than none of the injuries was life-threatening, but that the accident could have been worse if seatbelts hadn't been worn by all parties and if the speed limit on state Highway 75 hadn't been reduced a year and a half ago.

Sheriff Gene Ramsey said the accident occurred at 7:20 a.m. when an eastbound 2008 Suzuki XL-7, driven by Si Hyung Kim, 46, of Idaho Falls, ran through the stop sign on U.S. Highway 20 and struck a northbound 2003 Ford Explorer driven by Debora Crippa, 51, of Ketchum. Ramsey said the Kim vehicle struck the Crippa vehicle at about 40 mph, knocking it about 100 feet. The Kim vehicle traveled about 130 feet from the point of impact and rolled once.

Crippa, Kim and three of Kim's family members were transported to the hospital by Wood River Fire & Rescue ambulance. Ramsey said Crippa suffered a broken pelvis, while Kim's wife and 6-year-old daughter suffered possible neck and back injuries. He said Kim and a 2-year-old son received only minor injuries.

Ramsey said Kim was cited for failure to stop at a stop sign.

Ramsey said all five of the injured were wearing seatbelts and the two Kim children were restrained in child seats. Also, airbags deployed in both vehicles.

The accident was the second injury crash at Timmerman Junction, where Highway 75 meets Highway 20, since a 45 mph speed limit was implemented in the junction area on Highway 75 in January 2011. Highway 20 traffic is still required to stop and there are multiple posted warnings advising motorists that Highway 75 traffic is not required to stop.

Ramsey said Saturday's accident could have been much worse.

"If the speed would have been higher and the people hadn't had seatbelts and the airbags hadn't deployed, I'm sure we'd have seen much greater injuries," Ramsey said. "The more speed you see at an accident, the more injuries you see."

Terry Smith:

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