Driver who crashed into Fernan Lake dies



UPDATE: On the morning of April 23rd, Kootenai Health advised Pepper Richardson, a 40-year-old woman from Coeur d’ Alene, died during the night.

Richardson was previously listed in critical condition at Kootenai Health. Richardson had been pulled from her vehicle on Sunday afternoon after she drove off Fernan Lake Rd. and crashed into approximately 12 feet of water.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Team continues to investigate the incident. Alcohol and speed are believed to factors in the crash.

More information will be released as it becomes available.


On Sunday at about 3:22 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s 911 Center received multiple calls after a car crashed into Fernan Lake, just east of Coeur d' Alene.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Kootenai County EMS responded to the 4800 Block of E. Fernan Lake Road. Emergency Public Safety Divers from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team were paged to the scene and about 27 minutes after the first 911 call, divers pulled the driver from the submerged car.

The driver was the only person inside the car. The driver, identified as 40-year-old Pepper L Richardson from Coeur d'Alene, was then turned over to on scene EMS personnel who initiated lifesaving procedures. They then transported Richardson to Kootenai Health.

Currently, Richardson is in the ICU at Kootenai Health and is listed in critical condition.

Deputies say speed and alcohol appear to be a factor in the crash.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Team is handling the crash investigation.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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