Intern at Teton Science Schools is killed
By Emma Breysse, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Date: July 28, 2012
A Teton Science Schools intern died Thursday night in a single-car crash near Victor, Idaho.
Matt Jenkins was pronounced dead at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Science Schools officials said he was 28; Idaho officials said 27.
He was thrown from his car when it went off the road while he was driving on Highway 31, which runs between Victor and Swan Valley, according to the Teton County, Idaho, Sheriff’s Office.
A Victor resident sitting outside his house near the highway saw Jenkins drive by at about 10:50 p.m., then saw the car roll over, sheriff’s operations manager Valee Wells said. The car went off the road near milepost 18 and came to rest in a field, Wells said.
Officers believe Jenkins was headed west toward Pine Creek Pass at the time of the wreck, she said. Jenkins was unresponsive at the scene, Wells said.
Details of the wreck are still under investigation. Officers from the Teton County Sheriff’s Office and the Idaho State Police are gathering evidence and trying to discover where Jenkins was during the evening.
Officers are investigating whether alcohol was involved in the crash; several beer bottles were ejected from the car along with Jenkins, Wells said.
Deputies notified Jenkins’ colleagues at the Science Schools early this morning, educational programs director April Landale said. Since then, the atmosphere at the school has been one of “just devastating sadness,” she said.
“We’re all just devastated,” she said. “Matt was an incredible member of this community.”
Jenkins came to the Science Schools as part of an AmeriCorps team, arriving at the end of May. Though he was at the school only a short time, he was already considered a “go-to guy” by his colleagues, Wells said. He had applied to stay on at the school full time after the AmeriCorps program ended in August, she said.
The school will probably hold a memorial for Jenkins at the end of the AmeriCorps program, she said.
In the meantime, the Science Schools community is doing its best to come together, Landale said.