Police cite some drivers in Thursday pileup

One man, pulled from a mangled car, remained in serious condition on Friday.

jsowell@idahostatesman.comJanuary 11, 2014 

Tow truck operators pulled the wreckage of a Subaru Forester onto a flatbed truck Thursday afternoon, hours after a 46-vehicle pileup on Interstate 84, just west of Ten Mile Road in Meridian.

IDAHO STATESMAN

Paramedics spent an hour Thursday morning freeing Jose D. Silva Cuellar, 52, from the crumpled hull of his 2011 Subaru Forester after it was dragged 180 feet down Interstate 84.

Of the 10 people hospitalized after the 44-car pileup in heavy fog west of the Ten Mile Road overpass in Meridian, Silva Cuellar suffered the worst injuries. He was taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where he was listed Friday afternoon in serious condition.

Police did not release the names of the other people injured. Information on how many of them were still being treated was not immediately available Friday afternoon.

Idaho State Police issued several citations for driving too fast for the foggy and icy conditions present on the freeway. Teresa Baker, spokeswoman for the Idaho State Police, said Friday she did not know the exact number of citations issued.

Capt. Bill Gardiner, the ISP’s district commander, said most of the wrecks could have been prevented if drivers had slowed down both for the ice and the fog that thickened considerably west of the Ten Mile overpass.

The 2011 Subaru Forester driven by Silva Cuellar was struck by a loaded log truck and lodged in the right front portion of the log trailer. The car rolled over several times as it was dragged, police said.

Log truck driver Cory Ford, 38, of Emmett, was not one of those cited. Troopers want to review the circumstances surrounding that portion of the pileup before deciding whether to cite him or not, Baker said.

A dozen different accidents occurred within the larger pileup, the state police said.

Fourteen vehicles were involved in one of those incidents. A semi started to slow and was rear-ended by a car. The next 12 vehicles struck the one in front of them.

All but one of the crashes took place on the westbound side of the freeway. Three vehicles were damaged and one person was taken to the hospital after a crash in the eastbound lanes.

The investigation continues and additional citations may be issued, police said.

John Sowell: 377-6423, Twitter: @IDS_Sowell

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