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News >  Idaho

Head-On Wreck Kills Mullan Teen Victim Was Hit By Car Going Wrong Way On I-90

Bekka Rauve Correspondent

A Mullan youth died Tuesday night and a Wallace man is in critical condition as a result of a head-on automobile accident near Wallace.

Ryan Lunen, 17, was on his way home from his job at McDonald’s about 10:30 p.m. when his car collided with a car driven by Earl Crabtree, 61, who had entered the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 going the wrong way, according to Idaho State Police.

The accident report is not yet complete, but ISP say alcohol was involved and citations are pending.

Arlene Lunen said her son was staunchly opposed to drinking and driving.

“He didn’t go to Lead Creek Derby because of that,” she said of the recent community celebration.

“He said it was too hard not to drink when all his friends were.”

Eastbound traffic on I-90 was routed through Wallace for 2 1/2 hours while authorities dealt with the wreck.

Crabtree was taken to Kootenai Medical Center with two punctured lungs, Shoshone County Lt. Charles “Spike” Angle said. He remained in critical condition Wednesday.

Police told the family that Lunen probably died instantly.

“He was as fine a young man as I’ve ever met,” said Mullan School Superintendent Robin Stanley, who watched Lunen grow up. “He always had a smile and a joke. He didn’t just look out for himself. He worried about how others were doing. It’s really a tragedy.”

“He loved to have fun. That’s how I want to remember him,” said Matt Clifford, who planned to room with Lunen at Boise State University next fall. The two went fishing together, and started a rock ‘n’ roll band.

“He played the guitar. He was really good. He taught me how,” Clifford said.

Arlene Lunen said that just before his death her son cleaned his room, discarding three garbage bags full of possessions he no longer wanted.

“It’s really odd, things he’d done lately. Being extra-nice, so appreciative,” she said.

“But then, every day of his life he did special things. He was just one of those kids,” she said. “I should have known he was too good to be true.”

A memorial service for Lunen will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Mullan Pavilion.

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