Police are still searching for clues to why Ismael Fernandez’s SUV collided with a semitrailer in Canyon County last Friday.
Fernandez, a Wilder city councilman and student at The College of Idaho, died from injuries he suffered in the crash.
A viewing and rosary recital were being held last night at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Caldwell.
The funeral mass is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. Burial will follow at the Wilder Cemetery. Flahiff Funeral Chapel in Caldwell is handling arrangements.
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The crash happened midafternoon on Idaho 19 at Allendale Road.
Fernandez, 20, traveling west in a 1997 Ford Expedition, crossed the center line and turned into the side of an eastbound tractor-trailer hauling two trailers of beets. Truck driver Richard Norris, 71, was not injured in the crash, according to Idaho State Police.
The highway was clear of snow and ice, police said, eliminating slick conditions as a factor. Police did not find Fernandez’s cellphone at the scene, Idaho State Police Capt. Bill Gardiner said. They hope to get access to phone records to double-check that phone distraction wasn’t a factor.
Toxicology test results won’t be back for a month or more.
A driver in a vehicle behind Fernandez told police that nothing unusual preceded the collision.
“We’re leaving no stone unturned,” Gardiner said, noting that authorities want to be able to answer all of the family’s questions about the crash.
Fernandez was born in Nampa and raised in Wilder, according to his obituary in the Idaho Press-Tribune. He was living with his grandparents, Maria and Ricardo Sr., and his sister, Mariza.
“Ismael was a Renaissance man and an old soul in a young man’s body,” the obituary says.
Fernandez, who decided at a young age that he wanted to be president, was very involved in school activities and public service.
He helped craft anti-bullying legislation, worked as a page for the Idaho House of Representatives and was appointed to the Idaho Juvenile Justice Commission.
Fernandez graduated from Parma High School in 2015. Later that same year he became one of the youngest people ever elected to public office in Idaho, and he became part of Idaho’s first all-Latino city council.