Ismael Fernandez died from injuries he suffered in a Friday afternoon collision on State Highway 19 and Allendale Road in Canyon County, according to Idaho State Police.
Fernandez was a 19-year-old freshman at The College of Idaho when he was elected in 2015 to the four-member Wilder City Council. The young city councilman’s death was first reported in the Idaho Press-Tribune.
Wilder City Clerk Wendy Burrows-Severy told Statesman Reporter Sven Berg last September that Fernandez was interested in becoming a city leader at a very young age.
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“I can remember him when he was 15 years old, coming to city council,” she said. “And I remember mentioning to him way back then, I said, ‘When you’re 18, run for city council, and you can get involved.’ ”
Fernandez was part of Idaho’s first all-Latino city council. Wilder, which has about 1,500 residents, is about 12 miles west of Caldwell.
Fernandez was also involved in politics at the state level, pushing for a bullying bill that was later amended and passed the Legislature, according to a story about him on The College of Idaho’s Web site. He was appointed in 2014 to the Idaho Juvenile Justice Commission.
At about 3:30 p.m. Friday, Fernandez was traveling west on Highway 19 in a 1997 Ford Expedition, according to Idaho State Police.
Richard Norris, a 71-year-old Nampa man, was driving east on the highway in a 2015 Freightliner hauling two trailers loaded with beets.
Idaho State Police investigators said Fernandez crossed the centerline and struck the side of the Norris’ Freightliner. Though Fernandez was wearing his seatbelt, he was ejected from his vehicle.
Fernandez was taken by ground ambulance to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where he died from his injuries.
Norris, who also was wearing his seatbelt, was not injured in the crash.
The collision caused the truck and the first trailer jackknifed, and the second trailer turned onto its side. Both eastbound and westbound lanes were blocked until the crash could be cleared.