IDAHO FALLS — The communities of Idaho Falls and Shelley are mourning the loss of a 17-year-old who was killed in a crash Friday.
Kate Gulbransen, a Shelley High School student, died at the scene of the two-vehicle crash at the intersection of East 1500 North and North 800 East near Shelley at about 7 p.m.
Kate’s parents, Darnell and Lezhai Gulbransen and their family, have experienced an outpouring of support following her death.
“Katie was a breath of light and smiled with her whole being,” Lezhai said. “Everyone who knew her loved her. We lost a beautiful, amazing, brilliant, spunky, young woman. I’m so grateful that I know I will see her again. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the young girls involved in this tragedy.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family pay for funeral expenses.
Idaho State Police reports show that evening Kate was driving a 2001 Ford Taurus eastbound on East 1500 North. A 1991 GMC Sierra pickup, driven by another juvenile, was driving southbound on North 800 East. The Taurus was struck on the driver’s side by the GMC Sierra.
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A juvenile passenger in the Taurus, and the juvenile driver of the GMC, were transported to local hospitals.
In a statement to EastIdahoNews.com, Lezhai expressed concern regarding the intersection.
“This corner is a danger to the community with obstruction to the view of oncoming traffic due to large trees and the issue is amplified by the higher speeds on the highway,” Lezhai said.
“We visited that corner last night at the same time she had the accident to help us understand more fully what happened. It was alarming how restricted the view was due to large pine trees. This tragedy could have been prevented years ago. We encourage anyone with property on intersections to consider the impacts of overgrowth and we are going to do our best to advocate that this issue be addressed so it never happens again.”
Kate’s death notice is published here, and her obituary is pending publication.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
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