Canyon County

Fatal crashes prompt new safety measures at rural Canyon County intersection

Canyon Highway, District crews installed flashing lights on Homedale Road at Farmway Tuesday afternoon and plan to install flashers 400 feet before the intersection on Farmway later this week in response to two fatal accidents at the intersection within three weeks.
Canyon Highway, District crews installed flashing lights on Homedale Road at Farmway Tuesday afternoon and plan to install flashers 400 feet before the intersection on Farmway later this week in response to two fatal accidents at the intersection within three weeks.

The intersection of Homedale and Farmway roads outside Caldwell hasn’t caused much of a problem in the past, but that changed dramatically when two crashes killed four people in three weeks, a Canyon Highway District official said Tuesday.

Both fatal crashes — late on March 30 and early on April 21 — were caused by drivers failing to stop at a stop sign on Homedale Road and colliding with oncoming traffic on Farmway, which has no stop signs, investigators said.

This week, Canyon Highway District No. 4 is installing flashing beacons on both roads to alert drivers, District Engineer Tim Richard said. The flashers on Homedale Road were installed Tuesday afternoon.

“Driver behavior is obviously the issue here,” he said. “We’re going to do anything we can do ... to get drivers to pay attention.”

Three children in one Boise family died after a March 30 crash in which Manuel Vera Gonzalez drove past a Homedale Road stop sign into the path of a pickup truck, which slammed into the van the children were riding in, Idaho State Police reported. Twelve-year-old Jesus Manuel Vera-Guzman died at the scene, and siblings Kimberly Vera-Guzman, 9, and Ulises Vera-Guzman, 3, were pronounced dead two days later.

This past Friday, a 15-year-old driver in a large SUV ran the same stop sign and collided with a car on Farmway driven by Angel Camacho-Gonzales, 29, of Caldwell, ISP reports. Gonzales died at the scene.

Idaho Transportation Department statistics show there were 10 crashes at the Homedale-Farmway intersection in the five years from 2011 through 2015. Seven damaged only property, two caused “visible injuries” and one caused serious injury.

“We’ve only had about two accidents per year at that intersection, which isn’t a high rate,” Richard said.

The flashers will be installed above the stop signs in both directions on Homedale and 400 feet before the intersection in both directions on Farmway, Richard said.

Richard said he didn’t know how much the flashing beacons will cost the district.

“We didn’t price it out,” he said. “We just thought we needed to do something.”

Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447

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