Viewmont High

Class of '75

 

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Laura Jo Parker McKamey

1957 -2013

Laura Jo Parker McKamey, 55, a speech language pathologist from Shelby passed away May 13, 2013 due to a car accident south of Sunburst. She was struck from behind by a semi-truck during a white out by the alkali flats. The visitation is Friday, May 17th from 1:00 until 8:00 pm, at the Whitted Funeral Chapel of Shelby. Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 18th at 10:30 am in the Shelby High School Gymnasium. There will be a luncheon to follow at the LDS church at 915 Westwood Ave. Graveside services are 1:00 pm, Monday at the Highland Cemetery in Great Falls. Survivors include Laura Jo's husband, Alvin McKamey; her children, Brandon and Kristal McKamey, Russell and Brigette McKamey, Sandra Jo McKamey, Alvin James "AJ" McKamey, and Lucas McKamey; and her three grandchildren, Kyra McKamey, Porter McKamey, and Logan McKamey. She is also survived by her parents David and Wyoma Parker; her brother and sisters, Bruce Parker (Jan), Rebecca Wheeler (Denis), Jill Howells, and Shaula Holt (Kelly); as well as many nieces and nephews.

Laura Jo was born in Great Falls, MT, on September 21, 1957. Her father was an Air Force Navigator and she had lived in Montana, Utah, and Alabama. After he retired, the family settled in Bountiful, Utah, where she grew up and graduated from Viewmont High School in 1975. She attended Brigham Young University where she studied Elementary Education. She then went to the Utah State University to get her master's degree in Speech Language Pathology. Laura Jo married Alvin McKamey on June 17, 1980 in the Logan Utah Temple. They had five children. She has lived in Shelby since 1990 where she had become a large part of the community. Laura Jo was involved in Special Olympics, Destination Imagination, Fine Arts Parents, and any other program her children were involved in. She loved to sew and quilt and watch basketball games while reading the complete works of Shakespeare. She will always be remembered as a multitasking magician accomplishing things in a day that did not seem possible.

Laura Jo was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in every capacity that she was asked. She had a strong faith in Jesus Christ and the healing power of the Atonement. She was loved by all who knew her and her influence will be forever remembered.
 

Laura Jo McKamey dies in tragic I-15 accident, services will be held Saturday at SHS gym


 

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:56 AM MDT Shelby Promoter

Shelby resident Laura Jo McKamey was killed Monday, May 13, in a tragic accident. High winds caused white and brown-out conditions shortly after 3 p.m. along Interstate 15 south of Sunburst. A total of nine vehicles were involved in a domino-effect crash, including three semis and one Sunburst ambulance unit.

Funeral services for McKamey will be held on Saturday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m. in the Shelby High School gym. Graveside services will be held Monday, May 20, at 1 p.m. at Highland Cemetery in Great Falls. A full obituary will appear in next week’s Promoter.

The following information was compiled from information released by the TCSO.

At approximately 3:31 p.m., the Toole County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) received several 9-1-1 calls reporting a traffic crash just south of Sunburst on Interstate 15. Toole County emergency services responded, along with several other agencies, including the North Toole County Fire and Ambulance, South Toole County Fire and Ambulance, Coutts Alberta Fire and Ambulance, Milk River Alberta Ambulance Services, Pondera County Ambulance, Glacier County Ambulance and Sheriff’s Office, Liberty County Ambulance, United States Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection from Sweet Grass, Toole County Disaster and Emergency Services, Montana Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Services and Toole County Search and Rescue.
Upon arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the high winds were creating white-out conditions, blowing alkali across the interstate, causing zero visibility for about a half mile south of the Sunburst Exit 389.

The first crash happened after one semi truck struck another. One semi had stopped, and the other had moved into the left-hand lane. Another car came up behind the semis and was either stopped or moving at a slow rate of speed, according to MHP Trooper Mike Jensen. The car was struck by a third semi going about 50 mph, killing McKamey, the driver of the car. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The semi that struck McKamey’s car was then rear-ended by a full-size pickup from Mississippi. The driver of that pickup was airlifted to Great Falls by Mercy Flight.

An ambulance arriving on the scene ran into the pickup and a Sunburst school van then hit the ambulance. The school van was carrying three student golfers and an assistant coach. Sunburst Fire Chief and Superintendent Tim Tharp said that the students and coach had to be extricated and all were transported to the hospital in Shelby with non-life threatening injuries. Tharp, who has been an emergency responder since 1991, said he has “never seen anything as bad as this.”

After the ambulance and van separated, the van drifted to the side of the road and hit another car, while the ambulance ran into another semi-truck.

In all there were nine vehicles involved, with one fatality and several serious injuries. Six others were transported to Marias Medical Center in Shelby and Pondera Medical Center in Conrad. An additional six people were assessed at the scene and not transported.

Due to the visibility and crashed vehicles on the interstate, traffic was re-routed to the I-15 Frontage Road for approximately six hours, from mid-afternoon until just after 9:30 p.m. Monday.

The incident is being investigated by MHP with the assistance of the TCSO.
 

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