Highway Collision Results in 6 Dead, 10 Injured

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A horrific accident on U.S. Highway 20 near Idaho Falls, Idaho claimed six lives and injured 10 others. The crash took place early in the morning on Saturday, May 18, 2024, when an eastbound pickup truck crossed the center line, resulting in a direct collision with a westbound passenger van.

The Idaho State Police informed that the driver of the van and five passengers were found dead at the crash site. The pickup driver and nine other van passengers were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital due to injuries sustained.

The crash happened near the Lindsay Boulevard exit around 5:29 a.m. The aftermath revealed a distressing scene: the van flipped on its side, its rear doors broken open, and its front heavily damaged. The pickup truck, a Ram, was found a short distance away, with a shattered windshield and a smashed hood. Debris littered the highway.

Emergency units, including the Idaho Falls Police Department, Idaho Transportation Department, and Idaho Falls Fire Department, responded quickly to the accident. The highway was blocked in both directions for about five and a half hours. The westbound lane remained shut for an additional hour as the teams cleared the wreckage and continued their investigations.

The six victims, all from Mexico, have been identified as Abel Mejía Martínez, 43, Pedro Manuel Alcantar Mejía, 26, Brandon Ponce Gallegos, 24, Jose Guadalupe Sánchez Medina, 20, Luis Enrique Sereno Perez, 32, and Javier Gomez Alcantar, 36. The Idaho State Police are still investigating the reasons why the pickup truck deviated from its path.

Officials are advising motorists to be careful, particularly during this season. The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is often referred to as the “100 deadliest days” due to the significant rise in accidents during the summer travel season.

The recovery process will undoubtedly be difficult for those affected by the crash and the wider Idaho Falls community. The goal is that through heightened awareness and preventive actions, the number of such incidents can be reduced in the future.

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