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Help offered for homeless family that lost boy in lake

Tue., Aug. 30, 2011, 10:57 a.m.

The director of a Coeur d’Alene homeless center said that the family that lost a child Sunday after their car slid into Fernan Lake was homeless.

Evan Deshazer, 5, died, and his sister, River Deshazer, 1, remains in critical condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center following the 1:45 p.m. accident on Fernan Lake Road.

Authorities said the children’s mother, Sarah Deshazer, 25, of Coeur d’Alene, was turning around on the road when one wheel went off the roadway, causing her vehicle to slide backward into the lake.

She and her husband, Michael Deshazer, 28, were able to escape the vehicle but could not reach the children before the vehicle dropped into 12 feet of murky water. Authorities estimate the children were under water for 15 to 20 minutes.

“The Deshazers were a homeless family and have been Fresh Start clients for a while now,” said Howard Martinson, director of the homeless drop-in center on East Sherman Avenue, in a news release. “There’s a huge hole in our collective hearts. We are so sorry for their loss.”

Martinson said an account has been opened at Idaho Independent Bank to benefit the family. Donations can be made at any branch of the bank. The account is the Deshazer Donation Account, No. 0100067891, care of Justine Graybeal, trustee.

The Spokane County medical examiner was scheduled to conduct an autopsy of Evan Deshazer Monday, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office Traffic Investigation Team is conducting the investigation, a news release said.

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