Sunday, May 18th, 2008
David Coburn, 38, and the two children suffered fatal injuries; a third child — Taylor Coburn, 6 — was in critical condition at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center. Coburn’s daughters were taken to hospitals for treatment after the crash, but Idaho State Police confirmed around 7 p.m. that Ellie Coburn, 4, and Kaitlyn Coburn, 8, had died.
Officers say the series of events leading to the accident began while Devin Morgan, 18, of Sweet was northbound on the Sweet-Ola Highway in a 1991 Ford F-250 pickup. The irrigation pipe trailer he was towing became disconnected from the pickup and entered the southbound lanes of travel, investigators said.
Coburn, traveling southbound on the Sweet-Ola Highway in a 1997 Ford F-350, struck the pipe trailer as it entered his lane.
Authorities said Coburn was unable to maintain control of his vehicle and left the roadway, coming to a rest in the rushing waters of Squaw Creek. Coburn was pronounced dead at the scene.
Neither Morgan, nor his minor passenger, was injured. Police said it is unknown if Coburn or his three children were wearing seat belts. There is no indication at that alcohol or drugs were a factor, ISP reported.
The Idaho State Police and Gem County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the crash around 11:30 a.m. It occurred about one mile north of State Highway 52 on the Sweet-Ola Highway.
The crash is under investigation by Idaho State Police troopers with assistance from the Gem County Sheriff’s Office.
Residents of the close-knit community of Sweet, northeast of Emmett, knew David Coburn for construction work he did in the area and for the Coburn family’s involvement in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Neighbors told KTRV Fox 12 that Coburn’s fourth daughter and his wife, Emily, were notified and went racing to the scene.
Friends were trying to put together an effort to help the family.