Nancy and Jamie Lowell

Nancy and Jamie Lowell of Stevensville were involved in a one-car accident south of Challis, Idaho, on Wednesday. Nancy Lovell underwent surgery to repair her broken back Friday. A GoFundMe site has been set up to help the family. 

A well-known Stevensville woman is recovering in a Boise, Idaho, hospital after the car she was driving plunged down a 400-foot embankment south of Challis Wednesday.

Nancy Lowell was traveling with her daughter, Jamie, to Boise to watch her grandson — Jamie’s son — graduate from lineman school when the accident occurred around midday.

“The tires slid off the embankment and she just lost control,” Jamie Lowell said Friday. “We went down an embankment about 400 feet before the car finally stopped.”

Nancy Lowell was trapped in the car following the accident and there was no cellphone service at the scene. Jamie Lowell managed to get back up the embankment, where she flagged down a passing car.

Emergency crews had to use the Jaws of Life to remove Nancy Lowell from the car. She was transported by helicopter to Boise.

Nancy Lowell’s back was broken in two places. She also suffered broken ribs, collarbone and an elbow.

“There was no trauma to her brain, which is our saving grace,” Jamie Lowell said. “She is having extensive back surgery today (Friday).”

Jamie Lowell said she suffered extensive bruising and concussion in the accident.

“I’m just feeling really bad for my poor mama,” she said. “My mom is a third-generation born and raised in Stevensville. She served as the city clerk for 17 years and has done all the grant work for the Free Store. We’re well known in the community. I’ve just been blown away by all the kindness we’ve received from people back home.”

The kindness didn’t stop there.

One the EMTs who helped rescue her mother took Jamie Lowell to her home after the accident and her dog to a local veterinarian.

“I was covered in blood,” she said. “She took me to her own home so I could shower. My dog’s leg was broken extremely bad. She helped me get her to a vet.”

Then the woman drove Jamie Lowell 2½ hours to Boise so she could meet her son and get to the hospital where her mother was being treated.

“That whole community of Challis reached out and helped me,” she said. “There’s has been an outpouring from a lot of people since this happened.”

A GoFundMe site set up in Jamie and Nancy Lowell’s names and had already collected more than $6,000 by Friday afternoon to help with expenses. The site can be accessed at www.gofundme.com/jamie-and-nancy-lowell.

“Our amazing friends have been in a terrible accident on the way to see their son and grandson graduate from lineman school,” the website read. “We would like to help as much as possible to let Jamie focus on her mom and recovery a bit. They are both a huge part of the community and loved by many.”


Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.