LOWELL – Body recovery was under way as of press time Tuesday for two victims – a mother and her 2-year-old son – who died in an early morning vehicle accident last week on U.S. Highway 12.
Talia Rushing, 22, and Layton Hallmark, both of Boise, died July 2 when the 2003 PT Cruiser they were passengers in drove into the Lochsa River, according to the Idaho State Police (ISP). Driver in the incident, Boone Hallmark, 29, of Boise, was treated for minor injuries at Syringa Hospital in Grangeville and released.
Body recovery had been on hold since last week’s accident due to river level and speed conditions that presented safety concerns for the Idaho County Sheriff’s Dive Team.
The crash was reported at 2:54 a.m. last Wednesday. Hallmark was driving eastbound when he fell asleep, and the vehicle went off the south edge of the highway. The PT Cruiser became submerged in the river. Hallmark was wearing a seat belt.
According to information from the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, Hallmark came to a guest’s door at the Wilderness Hotel, advising he had been in a crash in the river, and that Rushing and Layton were still in the vehicle and it was submerged.
Assisting ISP on the crash were the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office and Idaho Department of Transportation. ISP is continuing its crash investigation.