AP NEWS

Fish and Game worker dies in massive wreck

May 18, 2019

Two Idaho Fish and Game employees were involved Tuesday in a multi-vehicle traffic crash in south-central Idaho, and one of them did not survive.

Douglas Megargle, 52, died after the crash near Hazelton on Interstate 84, according to a news release from the department. Another employee, Sally Rose, 60, a passenger in his truck at the time of the crash, remains in intensive care at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello.

Both employees were on duty at the time of the crash, according to the statement.

According to the Idaho State Police, the crash occurred about 2:47 p.m. during a dust storm created by heavy wind and rain.

Megargle, driving a 2017 GMC Sierra pickup, slowed to a stop behind Keight Witt, 54, of Brigham City, Utah, Jake Sluder, 24, of Twin Falls, and Kyle Hoskins, 31, of Jerome, all of whom were driving trucks.

Filimon Miranda, 58, of Twin Falls, at the wheel of a Mack truck, rear-ended Megargle’s truck, according to police. Megargle’s truck spun out of control and rear-ended Hoskins’ vehicle. Meanwhile Miranda, in the Mack truck, also struck Hoskins’ vehicle, pushing it off the shoulder of the highway and through a fence. Even then, the Mack truck didn’t stop — it next hit Sluder’s vehicle from behind, which rear-ended Witt’s truck.

Meanwhile, Wilma Benefiel, 72, of Mesa, Arizona, struck Megargle’s truck in her SUV. He died at the scene of the crash, according to police. First responders took Rose and Miranda to the hospital.

The highway was not fully reopened until 7:47 p.m., according to the Idaho State Police.

Megargle was a 22-year department veteran of the department and worked as the Magic Valley Regional Fisheries Manager. Rose works as the Office Services Supervisor for the Magic Valley Region and has worked for the department for 18 years.

In the agency’s 120-year history, 11 employees have died in the line of duty, according to the department’s release. Megargle is only the second to die in a traffic crash. The first fatality occurred in 1959.