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In brief: SUV, train collide near Rathdrum; driver thrown from vehicle

A train smashed into a 1992 4-wheel drive GMC east of Rathdrum, flipping the car four or five times and ejecting the driver.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said the train was heading from Chicago to Seattle on Sunday when the SUV tried to cross the tracks even though there was no railroad crossing in the area.

The train whistle was sounded repeatedly, and even though its emergency brakes were activated, it couldn’t stop in time. The SUV rolled several times, and the driver, identified only as a Post Falls man, was ejected and pinned beneath the hood.

Melonas said four trains were delayed because of the collision and the area reopened about 10:15 a.m. He added that up to 50 trains use those tracks daily.

The driver of the vehicle was airlifted to a hospital with what appeared to be internal injuries.

Traffic-control truck hit; 3 hurt

Alcohol was believed to be a factor when a GMC Suburban carrying three people veered into the left lane of traffic at milepost 54 on Interstate 90 near Kellogg on Saturday night, authorities said.

The vehicle hit a stationary traffic-control vehicle that was there to block traffic during construction in the lane. The Suburban rolled onto its top and came to rest on the right shoulder of the freeway, according to the Idaho State Police.

Injured in the collision were Jerrod Baugh, 29, of Pinehurst, Idaho, Tristina Hennings, 24, of Kingston, Idaho, and Jessy Groth, 25, also of Kingston. Police said Baugh was not wearing a seat belt and was taken to Shoshone Medical Center. Hennings was also taken to SMC and was wearing a seat belt. Groth was wearing a seat belt and was taken to Kootenai Medical Center.

The driver of the stationary vehicle, Steven Kuhlman, 37, of Sparks, Nev., was not injured when the Suburban hit his Freightliner truck.

The ISP said it was unclear who was driving the Suburban.

Watercraft rider killed in crash

Officials in North Idaho said a 38-year-old Lewiston man riding a personal watercraft on the Snake River died after coming too close to shore and hitting land.

The Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office told the Lewiston Tribune that Joel R. Holmes was thrown from the vessel and suffered severe head injuries in the crash that occurred at about 7 p.m. Saturday.

Four people die in plane crash

Officials say four people are dead after a small plane crashed and burst into flames Sunday afternoon in south-central Idaho.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus says the plane went down about 2:20 p.m. southwest of the Burley airport’s runway.

He says it’s still unclear if the plane was preparing to land or had just taken off.

Fergus told theAssociated Press that four people died in the crash, but he had no other information on them.

KMVT-TV quoted Burley City Administrator Mark Mitton as saying the four were all members of an Idaho family. No names had been released Sunday night.