Saturday, May 31, 2008

3 families, 2 tragedies:accidents tie community

BOISE - A Sweet, ID family is coping with a devastating loss over the weekend.

Saturday morning a crash on the Sweet-Ola Highway claimed the life of David Coburn and two of his daughters – Kaitlyn, 8 and Ellie, 4. Another daughter, Taylor, 6 is in critical condition at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise.

David Coburn’s brother Hal said Taylor’s prognosis is “positive.” That good news is something the family is hanging on to during a difficult time.

The three girls were spending time with their dad Saturday – headed to a church service project at the cemetery in Sweet.

Hal says the instant David's pickup went off the road; the community has been there, especially for David’s wife Emily.

"The outpouring of support in Sweet has been incredible and I think that’s helping Emily deal with the situation she is dealing with," Coburn said.

Hal says two families who can relate to Emily are doing anything they can to help out.

The Probst and Walker families lost their children when their car went off the road on the same highway in February 2007. In that accident, five students on their way to school died.

But they never made it to their destination. Coburn and his daughters died in the crash just before the cemetery.

Police say a trailer carrying pipe came loose and hit David's car, sending him off the road and into a creek.

Devin Morgan, 18 was driving the pickup carrying the trailer. He too was headed for the cemetery service project.

"They have nothing but love and outpouring for this young man that is possibly scarred with the memories of what happened that day," Hal Coburn said.

Now those families touched by similar tragedy – are helping the survivors of this latest accident.

"I'd like to express thanks to people like the Probst family and the Walker family, Coburn said. "The fathers - both actually - were in the water trying to rescue the girls and David."

Coburn said the Probsts have been babysitting Jaden - the Coburn's youngest girl.

The family says they are thankful for the many volunteers who tried to save David and the girls.

Paul Drake was the first person who jumped in the creek to try and rescue the family.

The first time I went in, the current caught me so I went down stream,” Drake said. “It took me three times to get out to the truck.”

Aside from the strong current- Drake says the water temperature was about 35 degrees.

The Coburn family has planned a memorial for David, Kaitlyn and Ellie this Friday at the LDS Stake Center in Emmett.

If you’d like to make a donation to the family, you can do so at any US Bank branch.

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