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Family of missing man believes he crashed truck into Payette River

Jerry Coburn (right) is believed to have crashed his pickup into the Payette River, off of Highway 55, on Sunday. His family continues to search for him.
Jerry Coburn (right) is believed to have crashed his pickup into the Payette River, off of Highway 55, on Sunday. His family continues to search for him.

The family of Jerry Coburn believes he was the man seen driving into the Payette River in Boise County on Sunday, according to Michael Taggart, his stepbrother.

Boise County sheriff’s deputies and volunteers conducted a search Sunday after a pickup was seen driving off Idaho 55 around 9 a.m. north of the Gardena bridge.

Coburn, 43, of Kuna, was reportedly in the area that day. Authorities have not confirmed who crashed into the river.

Taggart said Wednesday that Coburn had left his Kuna home about an hour before the crash and that it would be unlike him not to return home.

The motorists who saw the pickup crash into the river did not get a license plate number, Steve Dorau, chief deputy of the Boise County Sheriff’s Office, told the Statesman.

Coburn was in the area to find camping spots for his family near Horsethief Reservoir and was driving a blue Ford F250 pickup. Taggart said his family has been told that witnesses attempted to throw a rope to the man in the river after he couldn’t swim to shore, but efforts were unsuccessful.

Neither the pickup nor a body has been found in the river. Taggart said family, friends and volunteers are continuing to search.

The river is extremely high and is moving very quickly, making the water very dirty and unsafe to search, Dorau said. The deputy said he could not confirm it was Coburn’s vehicle that crashed into the river because he had “zero evidence.”

The Boise County Sheriff’s Office asks the public to keep an eye out while rafting or fishing in the area and to notify Boise County dispatchers, at 208-392-4411, if anything related to an accident is seen.

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