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Police say 3 dead, several injured in 7-car crash in Idaho

| May 4, 2021 2:30 PM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Three people have died and several people were injured in a seven-car crash on a highway in Idaho over the weekend, authorities said.

A semi-truck, two passenger cars, three pickup trucks and an SUV crashed on Highway 51 on Saturday around 4 p.m. near the city of Mountain Home, Idaho State Police said.

It was unclear what caused the pileup but police believe severe weather was a potential factor, with crosswinds of up to 45 mph (73 kph) in the area when the accident happened that kicked up dust and reduced visibility.

Kuna Mayor Joe Stear said Lisa Holland, the city's director of economic development, died in the crash. Holland, 34 and a Meridian resident, also served as a member of Meridian's Planning and Zoning Commission.

“The people who work here at the city, we’re one large family, and it’s extremely painful when we lose someone in that manner,” Stear told the Idaho Statesman. “Lisa will be deeply missed here, and we all loved her.”

Laurie Bloomquist, 38, was in the same vehicle as Holland and also died, authorities said. A child riding in that car was injured and taken to St. Luke's Elmore in Mountain Home, where he later died on Sunday. The 32-year-old driver, Daniel Holland, was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Everyone involved in the crash was wearing seatbelts, police said.

The city of Meridian reported that Holland’s young son died in the crash.

“As a community, we are grieving from the tragic loss of so much that it broke my heart when I first heard the news. Three lives were lost and my deepest condolences go to the families that are mourning the loss of Lisa, her sister Laurie, and Lisa’s young son Milo,” Meridian Mayor Robert Simison said.

The drivers of three other vehicles were also taken to the hospital, including 39-year-old Isias Armenta Valdez, 34-year-old Stephen Zandes and 74-year-old Douglas Meyer.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.