A family tragically lost their lives when their vehicle drove off a clip and plummeted 30 feet into the Salmon River north of Riggins, Idaho.
Calvin Miller, a divorced dad, and his three children —Dakota, 17, Jack, 10 and Delilah, 8— were on their way to see his father when the accident happened on Saturday. Police said Dakota, who was driving the family, fell asleep at the wheel.
An accident report says that Dakota Miller “drove off the highway, striking a large pile of rocks, sending the vehicle airborne. The vehicle struck another large pile of rocks, flipping the vehicle over end and landing upside down in the Salmon River.” https://t.co/MHKhnoCSoL
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 16, 2023
According to police, the 17-year-old must have fallen asleep due to fatigue from the family’s 274-mile trip from Spokane, Washington, to Council, Idaho.
“Dakota drove off the highway, striking a large pile of rocks, sending the vehicle airborne,” the incident report reads. “The vehicle struck another large pile of rocks, flipping the vehicle over end and landing upside down in the Salmon River.”
Police believe the family likely drowned after their vehicle fell into the river. A fisherman found the car partially submerged in the river.
The tragic news has left relatives distraught and in mourning. Zella Blair, Jack and Delilah’s mother, said she dropped to her and began crying after she heard the news.
“I don’t know if I can get used to them not coming through the door after school and yelling for me again,” Blair said. “They were huge. They were my whole life.”
Blair said she did not know her ex-partner would be taking the children to see his father, who is in hospice care.
Despite her anguish, Blair showed sympathy for Calvin’s partner Amberlynn. She revealed that Amberlynn, who broke the news to her, is navigating her new life without the one she loves.
“I feel really bad for Amber though, because she did lose all four people of her household,” Blair said. “Even though they weren’t her blood kids. She was always really great to them. Calvin and Amber were always wonderful.”
While Amberlynn did not make any comment, Scott Henri shared —her stepfather— shared a statement with KREM2.
“Words cannot express how devastating this loss is to our family. Calvin was a truly exceptional human being and we’re lucky to have had the time with him that we did. His kind heart and sensitive soul, not to mention his amazing sense of humor, brought a richness to our lives that can’t be replaced. He’d found his soul mate in Amberlynn, he fiercely loved her and all of his children & family,” The statement read.
In the statement, Henri revealed that Dakota had just turned 17 and was still deciding how to tackle the world after high school.
“She had amazing friends that brought her so much joy. We were looking forward to seeing the heights she’d reach in life, with her generous and caring heart,” Henri added.