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Driver dies from injuries sustained in collision with detached semi-truck trailer south of Coeur d’Alene

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 20, 2019

 (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)
(Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)

The driver of a Nissan sedan that was struck head-on by a semitruck’s disconnected trailer died in the hospital one day after the Aug. 14 crash, according to an Idaho State Police news release.

Nicholas S. Spooner, 25, of St. Maries, Idaho, died at 11:43 a.m. on Aug. 15 at Kootenai Health. His passenger, Timothy P. Spooner, 59, was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and was listed in serious condition Monday morning.

Idaho State Police told The Spokesman-Review that Nicholas Spooner was on life support until Monday morning so his organs could be donated.

The crash happened on U.S. Highway 95 south of Coeur d’Alene last Wednesday morning.

The tractor-trailer, owned by Montana company Mergenthaler Transfer & Storage and driven by Wilbert K. Kahoonei, 56, of Puyallup, Washington, was heading south rounding a right-hand curve when the trailer disconnected and drifted into the northbound lane, striking Spooner’s vehicle, Idaho State Police said.

The Nissan sedan was wedged under the semitruck trailer, and rescue crews had to hoist the end of the trailer to free the victims.

Both men in the Nissan were wearing seat belts, according to a news release from Idaho State Police. They were transported to Kootenai Health in critical condition.

Kahoonei, the tractor-trailer driver, and his passenger, Darnelle I. Kahoonei, 51, of Graham, Washington, were not injured.

The cause of the crash was initially suspected to be an equipment failure related to the tractor-trailer, but Idaho State Police said it has not made an official determination.

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