20-year-old city councilman dies after car wreck in Idaho

AP News
Posted: Jan 28, 2017 7:35 PM

WILDER, Idaho (AP) — A 20-year-old city councilman who was one of the youngest people ever elected in Idaho, has died after being involved in a car accident.

Wilder City Councilman Ismael Fernandez died Friday in a collision in Canyon County, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune (http://bit.ly/2keryE8).

Fernandez was a 19-year-old freshman at the College of Idaho when he was elected in 2015 to the four-member Wilder City Council, the newspaper said. He decided to run for the council just three days before the election. His win made national headlines and placed him on the state's first all-Latino city council.

During his campaign, he went door-to-door with his grandmother, the paper said.

"The lack of a youth voice leads to cynicism in politics," Fernandez said at the time. "When you don't have that open-mindedness, that's what gets people disengaged with politics."

Fernandez got a start in politics as a teenager with a seat on the Juvenile Justice Commission.

He worked as a page in the 2013 legislature. Fernandez, who recalled being bullied as a child, helped lobby for an anti-bullying law in 2015.

Wilder has about 1,500 residents and is located in southwestern Idaho near the Oregon border.

Fernandez was traveling west on Highway 19 when he crossed the center line and crashed into a truck hauling two trailers loaded with beets, the Idaho State Police said.

He was ejected from his car despite wearing a seat belt and died a short time later at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.


Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, http://www.idahopress.com