Detached Semi-Trailer Crash Claims One Life
Coeur d’Alene, ID – The driver of a sedan that collided with a semi-trailer that became unhitched last Wednesday along US-95 has succumbed to his injuries.
Nicholas Spooner, 25, of St. Maries passed away on Monday following the collision, his family reported.
Spooner’s family posted on social media he was taken into surgery around 7 a.m. on August 19, where his organs were harvested for donation.
It was known on Thursday of last week that Spooner would not recover from the injuries sustained in the accident.
As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported last Wednesday, Spooner was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima in the northbound lane of US-95 around 8:15 a.m. on August 14 with his father, 59-year-old Timothy Spooner, in the passenger seat.
According to the Idaho State Patrol (ISP), a 2014 Peterbilt tractor-trailer was negotiating a right-hand curve in the southbound lanes of US-95 when the trailer became unhitched and drifted into the northbound lane.
The Wabash trailer collided head-on with the Altima near mile marker 426, authorities reported.
Corporal Andy Hodl of the ISP told TNN the day of the accident that both men were “unconscious, but breathing” as they were extricated from the crumpled sedan.
The trailer had to be jacked up in order to rescue the men from the sedan, Hodl said.
Both Spooner men were transported to area hospitals in “very critical” condition.
According to family social media accounts, Timothy was recently airlifted to Seattle and has undergone multiple surgeries on his arms, and additional surgeries are scheduled for his face.
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A family member said they are “not sure the total extent of the traumatic brain injury” suffered by Timothy.
The driver of the Peterbilt, Wilbert Kahoonei, 56, of Puyallup, WA, and his passenger, Darnelle Kahoonei, 51, of Graham, WA, were uninjured in the accident.
Hodl told TNN Kahoonei and the trucking company were “very cooperative” during the preliminary investigation.
ISP says the circumstances of the accident are still under investigation, but “it appears to have been caused by a major equipment failure on the part of the semi-truck,” though ISP representatives have not ruled out a “freak accident.”
The truck and trailer was owned by Mergenthaler Transfer and Storage, headquartered in Helena, MT.
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows Mergenthaler has 230 drivers.
The company’s vehicle inspection out of service percentage is in line with the industry average of 20%.
You can read more about the accident HERE.
TNN will continue to keep you updated on any new developments in this story.
Photos: ISP, KXLY