Sheriff: Man charged in death of girlfriend in Owyhee County crash tested positive for meth, alcohol

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comJuly 1, 2014 

A 36-year-old Melba man has been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend, who died after being pinned under an SUV in an Owyhee County crash in March.

Sara Dawn Bronson, 21, of Melba, died at the scene. The crash occurred about a half mile off Upper Reynolds Creek Road near Idaho Highway 78.

Jacob Howard Canoy has also been charged with two counts of felony injury to a child and several infractions for failure to fasten a safety restraint, failure to restrain a child in a car safety seat, occupants under 18 failing to wear safety restraints and operating a motor vehicle off a highway, road or trail.

State toxicology tests showed that Canoy had methamphetamine and alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.

"It was a very tragic accident that could have been avoided very easily," Chief Deputy Lynn Bowman said.

The crash occurred March 26. Canoy, Bronson and his two young boys were traveling in a 1999 Chevy Blazer. He drove the vehicle up a hillside on a trail generally used for ATVs. The trail ended at the top of the hill. Canoy lost control of the vehicle when he continued down the other side, where there were no trails, according to sheriff's investigators.

Everyone in the Blazer— including Canoy's two young boys, who were in the back seat and not in safety restraints of any kind — were ejected in the crash. It came to rest on its side, and Bronson was pinned underneath, sheriff's officials said.

Both boys were hospitalized: Tiger Canoy, 9, had two broken bones in his left arm and a lacerated spleen. He was kept overnight at a hospital for observation. Kulten Rankin, 5, was treated for injuries and released.

Canoy also suffered severe injuries and was taken by air ambulance to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

Canoy was charged on Monday. He was just about to be released from the Ada County Jail after being sentenced on an unrelated petit theft charge.

"They were just getting ready to release him, and we faxed them over the warrant," Bowman said.

He appeared Tuesday in Ada County Court. Bond was set at $100,000 but Canoy will remain in custody without bond until he is returned to Owyhee County, where the vehicular manslaughter and other charges stemming from the wreck were filed.

Canoy pleaded guilty Monday to petit theft in Ada County. He was sentenced to 365 days in jail, but 327 days were suspended. He was credited for serving 38 days in jail. Canoy was ordered to pay $552.50 in fines and restitution.

Sara Bronson's mother, Julia Ann Bronson, filed a personal injury suit against Canoy in April, according to online court records.

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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