Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Motorcycle accidents claim 2 lives

Fatal crashes occur in Blaine County just days apart


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    Two people have died from motorcycle crashes in Blaine County that occurred in the Carey area just three days apart.
    Idaho State Police reported the death of a Weiser man, 67-year-old Jack Saunders, on Saturday, July 27. ISP reported in a news release that he “succumbed” to injuries at the scene of the crash.
    The other victim was a Boise woman, 27-year-old Danielle Watzje, who died at a Pocatello hospital on Sunday after being in a motorcycle accident on Wednesday, July 24. A spokeswoman at Portnuef Regional Medical Center on Monday confirmed Watzje’s death but could provide no other details.
    Police investigators reported that both Saunders and Watzje were wearing helmets when they crashed.
Jack Saunders
    The Saunders accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. on U.S. Highway 20 about two miles west of Carey. ISP reported that Saunders was eastbound on a 2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when he lost control of the bike after running into loose sand along the roadway while he was trying to negotiate a curve.
    ISP reported that the accident is still under investigation.
    Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey said his officers also responded to the scene of the accident, as did Wood River Fire and Rescue and the Carey Quick Response Unit.
    The sheriff said Saunders was with a group of four other riders who were on an eight-day trip and headed for Yellowstone National Park.
Danielle Watzje
    Watzje was transported by emergency helicopter to the Pocatello hospital after she crashed a 2004 Honda on U.S. Highway 26 about 18 miles northeast of Carey and near the border between Blaine and Butte counties.
    The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office reported earlier that Watzje was eastbound when she lost control of the motorcycle while exiting a curve.
    Watzje was in critical conditional following the accident. Police scanner radio reports described her as “unconscious, unresponsive and bleeding from an ear.”
Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com






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