BOISE -- Two teens are dead and another critically injured after the driver of a car plunged over a steep embankment in the Boise foothills early Sunday morning.
Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg has identified the driver as 17-year-old Tiffany Walters of Boise. Walters died of blunt force trauma after being ejected from the car. Sixteen-year-old Robert Rogers of Meridian was also ejected from the car, and died from blunt force trauma.
17-year-old Braden Connolly from Boise was also ejected from the car, and was transported to a local hospital with critical injuries.
The Ada County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the circumstances of the crash, including why the driver swerved off the winding road near East Wild Horse Lane shortly after 2 a.m.
East Wild Horse Lane stretches along the Boise foothills, just below the Table Rock recreation area. The road is secured by a private gate, and includes at least one sign warning drivers of the dangerous curves ahead.
NEIGHBORS WAKE UP TO EMERGENCY VEHICLES
Curi Stock heard the commotion early Sunday morning and woke to the sound of rescue crews.
“I was woken up by just the sound of helicopters swarming around -- which usually means fire,” Stock told KTVB. Stock's home is surrounded by sagebrush, and she says fire is her biggest fear.
However, a wildfire was not what emergency crews responded to early Sunday. Instead, it was a deadly crash.
“When I looked out the front window, there were emergency vehicles racing up and down the road, lots of fire trucks, the sheriff, and Boise city police,” said Stock.
The Ada County Sheriff's Office says Walters was traveling on East Wild Horse Lane when she lost control, and drove her Hyundai Tiburon over a 100-foot embankment.
Deputies say three others passengers were in the car including Rogers, Connolly, and a 20-year-old male whose name hasn't been released. They say the Tiburon's driver made it through one curve on her way down the road, but then failed to negotiate the next curve and drove off the road.
Investigators say Walters and Rogers were in the front seat and both were ejected in the crash and died on the scene. Connolly was in the back seat was ejected, and received critical injuries. The 20-year-old passenger walked away from the crash with a minor hand injury.
Stock describes the crash as "shocking."
Later Sunday morning, Stock and her two sons walked on the road near the crash site and spotted the wreckage. “The windshield was gone,” said 11-year-old Austin Stock. “It was quite a sight.”
The disturbing outcome was enough to send a message about driving too fast to both of Stock's children. “I felt bad for the people who were in the accident,” added 11-year-old Austin.
THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES
Investigators have not said whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, but did report the 20-year-old who walked away from the crash was the only person in the car who was wearing a seatbelt.
“Without drinking or even going fast -- if you don’t know the road -- it’s so dark up here. It's easy to veer off the road,” said Stock.
Ada County Sheriff's deputies say the crash victims were visiting a home on East Wild Horse Lane prior to the accident. They say a homeowner in the neighborhood called 911 to report the fatal crash.
Braden Connolly was taken to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. He is expected to live.