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Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Series of rollovers concern officials

Three groups of teens involved

Express Staff Writer

Rollover accidents involving young drivers in the past week brought back memories of a lethal season of car accidents in Blaine County last year, said Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling.

On Thursday, June 17, at about 9:45 p.m. three Wood River High School students were involved in a single-car crash on Lower Broadford Road south of Hailey, Femling said. Flown by helicopter for critical care in Boise, two of the students are still being treated. A passenger, Jess Matey, is in a coma, according to a Web site set up especially for the accident victim.

At nearly the same time another single-car accident involving two teenagers occurred on Warm Springs Road. Both teenagers walked away from the accident, Femling said.

Earlier in the week, Tuesday, June 15, another single-car rollover accident involving four teenagers occurred on a dirt road south of Trail Creek Road. Although two of the passengers were taken in a private vehicle to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, they were checked for injuries and released, Femling said.

Sean Logullo, 16, of Hailey, the driver of a 2001 Ford Explorer that rolled in the Broadford Road accident, and front-seat passenger Matey, 16, of Bellevue are being treated for injuries at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

The third passenger in the vehicle, Curtis Johnston-Hopfenbeck, 17 lives on Lower Broadford Road and was uninjured in the incident, Femling said.

Femling said the accident occurred when Logullo missed a curve in the road while driving too fast. The boys had to be extricated from the vehicle, which hit a split-rail fence and two trees before it stopped, he said.

"The roof caved right on top of them," Femling said. "There are some 15 mile per hour curves (on Lower Broadford Road). Going into (those) curves at 50 miles per hour you’re not going to make it."

Femling said the three teenagers were traveling south from Hailey at the time of the accident.

Heidi Emery of AmeriTitle in Ketchum said the company is making donations to the parents of the two boys to help pay for hotel rooms in Boise. Anyone wishing to help contribute to the parents’ expenses can contact Emery at 726-4595 or P.O. Box 188 in Ketchum. The Web site, http://jess.matey.1colony.com, provides more information about Matey and how to reach the family.

Logullo is in good condition, said a hospital spokesperson.

The rollover on Warm Springs Road, also on June 15, involved Olivia Storms Parker, 15, of Sun Valley. She was driving a 1999 Ford Expedition. She and her passenger, Kodi Hess, 15, of Hailey were both uninjured.

Parker was eastbound on Warm Springs Road near Frenchman’s Bend when she overcorrected and hit the shoulder, Femling said.

The Trail Creek accident on June 15 involved driver Tyrone Ray, 18, of Sun Valley and passengers Whit Harbaugh, 18, of Ketchum, Ashley Hurley, 17, living in the Starweather subdivision in Blaine County and Rebecca Schwarzenberger, 18, of Hailey. Hurley and Harbaugh were checked for injuries and released at St. Luke’s after being transported in a private car to the hospital.

"Ray swerved to avoid a deer and went off the roadway," Femling said. The 2004 Buick Ranier overturned and rolled 90 feet down an embankment on Corral Creek Road about 3.6 miles south of Trail Creek Road.

Femling said the spate of accidents is reminiscent of several incidents that resulted in the fatalities of several teenagers on Blaine County highways last year.

"It’s damn scary. (Last year) was a damn terrible year and we’re reliving it ... right now," he said. "There is still a lot of pain in this community from last year. It is a tragic thing to see kids that you know going through that."

St. Luke’s Emergency Room Physician Jan Rosenquist said traffic-related accidents that began most recently with the death of pedestrian Janice Louise Hawkins in Hailey have been sobering for the EMS workers at the hospital. She said it is a reminder that the Wood River Valley is growing and part of the problem is that people are traveling at speeds that may have been appropriate 25 years ago when there was less traffic on the roads.


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