ISP releases names of driver, 1 of 2 pedestrians killed in collision

A motorist veered off of northbound U.S. Highway 95 in Fruitland Wednesday afternoon and struck two people on a sidewalk, according to Idaho State Police.

Both of the pedestrians died, and now the driver is facing possible felony charges, police said. The crash is being investigated as a homicide.

Thursday afternoon, ISP identified the two victims as: Matthew A. Parkinson, 22, of Kuna, and a female juvenile (name not released).

The driver was identified as: Jason L. Verwer, 37, most recently residing in Fruitland. He is in custody and being held for a mental health evaluation at an undisclosed location.

“Initial indications are the individual purposely veered onto the northbound sidewalk, adjacent to the road, instantly killing two individuals walking on that sidewalk,” ISP spokesman Tim Marsano told The Argus Observer Thursday morning.

The Payette County coroner told The Observer that the victims were a 22-year-old man and a female, age not known.

“I remember seeing one person flying through the air, and about that time he hit my car,” said a woman who works at a business in the area. The vehicle that hit the pedestrians then hit cars in the front of Keithly Williams Seeds, and came to a stop there, she said.

She told the Statesman that the driver of the vehicle fled on foot after the crash but was apprehended by people in the area.

The names of the victims and the driver have not yet been released by police.

Fruitland is about 50 miles northwest of Boise. The crash occurred at about 3 p.m. near milepost 64 on U.S. 95, which is in the area of a Shell station and Keithly Williams Seeds.

The pedestrians were walking north on the sidewalk.

No other information about the fatal crash was immediately available Thursday.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for more details.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller