Among first responders, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the 100 Deadliest Days. This year, that stretch of time more than lived up to its name, according to Idaho State Police records.
According to Idaho State Police, there were 77 fatalities resulting from crashes between Memorial Day and Aug. 29, and several additional fatal crashes have occurred since to bring the unofficial total to 86 for the 100 Deadliest Days.
From Jan. 1 through Aug. 29 of this year, there were 159 fatalities resulting from crashes, up from 142 fatalities in 2020 during that same time frame.
Adding to this year’s total were eight traffic fatalities from Friday through Monday. (There also was a fatal crash on Thursday in Hayden.):
• At 11 a.m. Monday, Marie J. Walker, 21, of Iona, was driving east on U.S. Highway 26 in a 2001 Chevrolet Metro when she failed to negotiate a curve and went off the left shoulder, according to Idaho State Police. The vehicle went down an embankment, rolled and came to rest on the passenger side. Walker was ejected and succumbed to her injuries on scene.
• At 7:50 p.m. Sunday 33-year-old Edoardo Javier Rodriguez, of Rupert, was killed from injuries sustained after rolling a vehicle on a canal road a half mile east of 275 N. Meridian Road, state police said.
• At 5:20 p.m. Sunday, Katheryn E. Laframboise, 67, of Nampa, was killed after crossing through the median into the westbound lanes of Interstate 84, just east of Payette, and striking another vehicle head-on, police said.
• At 12:59 p.m. Sunday, James A. Peters, 38, of Post Falls, was killed from injuries sustained in a motorcycle wreck on Twin Creek Road about 4 miles southeast of Clark Fork in Bonner County, police said. Police said Peters was not wearing a helmet and lost control of the motorcycle on the dirt road.
• At 4:06 p.m. Saturday, Cody Hansen, 20, of Rexburg, was killed from injuries sustained in a crash on Cottonwood Loop Road in Kilgore when his Polaris RZR collided head-on with a 1963 Dodge Power Wagon, police said. Police said visibility was poor due to blowing dust.
• At 2:20 a.m. Saturday, Mark Roberts, 40, of Deer Park, Washington, was killed when the truck in which he was a passenger rolled on eastbound Interstate 90 in Post Falls, state police said. Police said Roberts was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.
• At 11:09 p.m. on Friday, state police said two men were killed from injuries sustained in an accident on U.S. Highway 91 north of Blackfoot. State police said a 2010 Subaru Impreza was traveling northbound and left the road, striking a power pole. Police said Andrew Ramsey, 22, of Idaho Falls, and Eric Dana, 26, of Ammon, were both killed. Police said neither of them were wearing a seat belt.
Lt. Mike Winans, with ISP’s Pocatello office, said ISP received grants this summer to conduct aggressive driving and impaired driving enforcement, placing extra patrols on roads to focus on those issues.
“Most departments I know of are out doing extra patrols during that 100 Deadliest Days,” Winans said.
Winans said distracted driving, especially involving the use of cellphones while operating a vehicle, is a primary factor in bad crashes. Impaired driving is another major issue, he said.
“August in particular was a very bad month for fatal crashes,” Winans said. “We saw multiple-vehicle fatality crashes, single-vehicle fatality crashes, so it was all over the board.”
Winans said increasing traffic volumes are also a factor. When he started with the department in 2001, he said there were 12,000 fewer cars per day on the freeways patrolled by his office.