JULY 15, 2010

This is a 1997 Ford Ranger operated by April Albright of Lewiston. It was involved in a collision near milepost 45 on U.S. Highway 12. The vehicle was struck on the driverís side, taking the door off and leaving it several feet down the highway. 

Calamity Friday in Clearwater County

   A series of traffic crashes and a vehicle fire kept Clearwater County Fire, EMS and Sheriff's Deputies hopping during the afternoon of July 9. 

   The series of calls began at about 1:30 p.m. when Clearwater County dispatch received a report of a truck on fire.  The truck registered to Alan Kalb-fleisch of Kuna, was located at about mile post eight on Hwy. 11.  The fire was extinguished by Weippe Fire personnel, and the scene was cleared about an hour after the call was received. 

   The next incident was a single vehicle crash which sent Weippe resident, Chuck Mendenhall, to the hospital at about 2 p.m.  Preliminary investigation indicates Mendenhall lost control of his vehicle in the area of Durant's Trailer Court, struck a tree, and came to rest on a guide wire of a utility pole.  Speed is believed to be a factor.

   Chief Deputy Rick Miller was requested to respond to a one vehicle slide off on Canyon Creek Road at about 2:44 p.m.  Orofino resident, James Bentle, was driving a 1979 Ford near the bottom of Canyon Creek Road.  No further details of this crash are available at this time.

   Next, a two vehicle crash involving Rubens resident Steve Adams and Bruce Jones of Orofino, was called in at about 3:54 p.m.  Adams was turning east on Hwy. 7 from A Road after a day of fishing on Dworshak Reservoir.  He had not quite completed his turn when the boat he was towing was struck by Jones.  No one was hurt, however, both Jones's vehicle and Adams's boat were damaged as a result of the crash.  The crash is still under investigation, and Clearwater County Sheriff's Office is asking any witnesses to contact Sgt. Anne Kelleher at 208-476-4521.  Both parties describe at least two other vehicles in the area at the time of the crash: a red Clearwater Homes pilot car, and possibly another red car. 

   Finally, three people were taken to Clearwater Valley Hospital after a two vehicle crash on Hwy. 12 near mile post 45 at about 6:15 p.m.  Traveling west bound, Lewiston's David Mittendorf drove his 1998 Dodge truck across the centerline striking a 1997 Ford Ranger, driven by April Albright, also of Lewiston

   Albright was traveling east on Hwy. 12 with a 17 year old female seated in the front passenger seat and 46 year old Jeffery Lyons seated in the box of the truck when the crash occurred.  Albright's vehicle overturned, ejecting Lyons.  Albright and her passenger were both wearing seatbelts.

   Lyons was transferred to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center while Albright and her passenger were treated at CVH.  Albright was admitted for observation, while her passenger was treated and released. 

   Mittendorf suffered only minor injuries and was not transported.  He too was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.  Speed is believed to be a factor in the crash.