Crime

3 young sisters die in crash after drunk driver rear-ends vehicle in Idaho, sheriff says

A 3-year-old girl, along with her two sisters, ages 5 and 6, were killed after a suspected drunk driver rear-ended the vehicle they were in on Saturday, according to the Ada County Coroner’s Office.

The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office stated that the crash happened on Highway 20 at milepost 173, east of Hot Springs Landing. The children’s vehicle was struck at the site of a temporary traffic signal for the Idaho Transportation Department’s bridge construction project south of Bellevue, according to a sheriff’s news release.

Matthew R. Park, 46, of Fairfield, was driving a white 1995 Dodge Pickup and deputies reported that the front of his vehicle had extensive damage. The second vehicle, a blue 2000 Dodge Neon, driven by Somchai Ray Lee Lurak, 26, of Mountain Home, had extensive rear damage, according to the news release.

Emma Weigand, 26, of Mountain Home, was in the front passenger seat of the Neon. In the backseat were the three girls. All three children were in car seats.

The 3-year-old girl was identified as Drayka Rayshell, according to the coroner’s office. She died Saturday at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise. Her sisters, who have not been publicly named, died at the scene.

“From the investigation, deputies determined Lurak and his passengers were traveling westbound on (Highway) 20 and were stopped at the construction site. Park was also traveling westbound on HWY 20 and collided with the rear of the Dodge Neon in the westbound lane,” according to the sheriff’s news release.

Park was given field sobriety tests and provided breath samples, and he was arrested and transported to the Blaine County Detention Center. Park will be arraigned for two counts of felony aggravated driving under the influence and three counts of felony vehicular manslaughter.

Park was reportedly uninjured in the crash and declined medical care.

Lurak was flown by air ambulance with serious injuries and is listed in critical condition. Weigand was initially transported to St. Luke’s in Ketchum but was transferred to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

Park has no apparent criminal history in Idaho, according to online court records.

Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.
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