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There could be video from Idaho deputies’ body cameras of incident that left rancher dead

A screenshot of the GoFundMe page for Jack and Donna Yantis.
A screenshot of the GoFundMe page for Jack and Donna Yantis.

Many are wondering whether there is video evidence available that can help investigators sort out exactly what happened after a Subaru station wagon collided with a bull north of Council on U.S. 95 on Sunday evening.

All that has been released are the bare basics: Two Adams County deputies responded to the crash, the rancher who owned the bull was called to the scene, and all three fired their weapons. Rancher Jack Yantis, 62, died at the scene.

Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman told the Statesman that there were two body cameras worn by the deputies and one vehicle dash camera at the scene. The dash camera, however, was not even on; Zollman didn’t say whether the deputies’ body cameras recorded the incident.

Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker was not able to verify how many cameras might have captured what happened.

Both the collision with the bull and the shooting occurred after dark. Sunset was at about 5:35 p.m., and the crash occurred at about 6:45 p.m.

ABOUT THE CRASH

ISP said in a news release Thursday afternoon that the motorist in the Subaru that hit the bull was a 53-year-old Nampa man.

There was a female passenger in the car, but police did not disclose her age or where she’s from. Both the driver and passenger were taken by air ambulance to a Boise hospital for treatment of injuries. No information was released on their conditions.

One of the deputies suffered minor injuries, and both were placed on routine administrative leave.

Zollman said ISP would be releasing the officers’ names, but ISP’s Baker said Thursday that the agency would not.

“It’s up to the Sheriff’s Office to release the names of the officers,” Baker said. “They feel there’s an officer safety issue.”

Zollman told the Statesman earlier this week that the Adams County Sheriff’s Office has received angry calls and threats since Sunday, and a crisis management team will be coming to assist the staff.

ISP officials said they are conducting an investigation of the shooting “to determine exactly what transpired.”

“The scene has been processed and ISP detectives are continuing to conduct interviews and are methodically examining each piece of evidence,” the news release said. “Physical evidence will be sent to forensic labs for analysis in hopes of revealing further facts that will help piece together the events that unfolded that night.”

State police said forensic testing takes time, and they will not be commenting or releasing any more information until the investigation is complete. They asked for the public’s patience.

Detectives want to speak to anyone who might have been a witness to the events leading up to the shooting or following it. Call 208-884-7110.

CONDITION OF WIFE IMPROVES

Yantis’ wife, Donna, had a heart attack Sunday after the shooting. She was with her husband on the highway when the gunfire occurred, family member Beth Paradis said Thursday.

Donna Yantis was transported to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where she had angioplasty and three stents placed in arteries to restore or improve blood flow, said Lena Paradis, Yantis’ sister-in-law.

The family expects Donna to be released from the hospital soon, possibly this weekend.

PROMINENT COUNCIL FAMILY

Jack and Donna, whose maiden name is Paradis, have two grown daughters and one grandson.

Jack is related through marriage to Adams County Commissioner Mike Paradis, who is the father of one of Council’s most famous native sons, former Boise State football center Matt Paradis, who now plays for the Denver Broncos.

Mike Paradis was in Denver visiting his son over the weekend and said he heard about Yantis’ death over the phone.

“I was watching him play ball down there,” Paradis said.

Commissioner is a part-time job in Adams County. Paradis, who was out plowing fields on his ranch Thursday, said Zollman has been keeping county officials updated.

“He’s an elected official like we are, and he’s in charge of his own department,” Paradis said. “He’s keeping us apprised of the incident.”

GOFUNDME ACCOUNT SET UP

A GoFundMe account has been created to help the Yantis family. So far, 89 people have donated more than $6,200.

Here’s what the account says about Yantis:

“Jack was a lumberjack for most of his life as well as a rodeo cowboy and rancher. Jack was loved by everyone that knew him. He was good hearted, down to earth and would have done anything for anybody. Exorbitant expenses are mounting up and we are asking for your contribution of love to help with them.”

HITTING A BULL IN OPEN RANGE

Idaho law allows for roads and highways to pass through open range — certain designated areas where livestock can roam. If a motorist hits livestock in open range, they are liable for the damages, not the rancher who owned the livestock, according to state law.

Zollman told the Statesman that the area where the Subaru struck Yantis’ bull was in open range.

Typically, auto insurance covers the value of killed livestock, ISP spokeswoman Baker said.

“Unfortunately, it’s a pretty typical thing to happen in an open-range state, not unheard of — livestock being hurt or hit in motor vehicle crashes,” Baker said. “That’s the way it is here in Idaho.”

A breeding bull such as the one hit in the crash Sunday typically sells for between $5,000 and $10,000, according to Treasure Valley Livestock Auction in Caldwell.

Reporter Anna Webb contributed.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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