BLACKFOOT — There is a dark cloud of sadness hanging over Blackfoot and throughout the region this week, as funeral preparations are made for three Blackfoot residents (Jackie Poulson, 31, Lance Hicks, 41, and Keith Tarpley) who entered into an electrically charged canal and were electrocuted Thursday night in the Groveland area.
And while residents are out enjoying the Eastern Idaho State Fair and other end-of-the-summer activities, the tragedy is weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of everyone in the community.
“This has been a tough week...so many lives affected,” said Andria Sasser Wiebe who worked with Hicks at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) on an environmental restoration project. “He [Hicks] was so well liked and he always, always had a smile on his face.”
Friends and family members referred to Hicks as a “family man”. He is survived by his wife Bucki, and two daughters: Brittni who is married to Zach Bench and Carsen Hicks, a sophomore at Blackfoot High School. He has a grandson McCray.
Keith Tarpley, who also worked at INL, is described by family and friends as “a guy who would do anything for anyone.”
“This is just the type of thing he would do..jump into save someone without even thinking about himself,” said Keith’s brother, Mitch Tarpley. “All three of these people died showing who they were...trying to save someone else.”
Keith Tarpley, an avid fisherman and Harley Davidson rider, is survived by his wife Ellen and three children Kyle, Tyler and Anisha.
Keith Tarpley was Poulson’s future father-in-law, as she was engaged to be married to his son Kyle.
Students, teachers and colleagues at Idaho State University are struggling to come to grips with the loss of Poulson, who was the university’s assistant track coach and a student where she was studying to get her master’s degree in health education.
“Jackie and I had just met Thursday morning in my office to map out her semester so she could finish her graduate degree in December,” noted ISU assistant professor John Batacan in a Facebook post. “Thoughts and prayers go to all of these families. Jackie, Lance and Keith will be missed.”
- Jackie Poulson’s funeral will be held at ISU’s Holt Arena Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 1 p.m. A visitation will be held Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. at Colonial Funeral Home at 2005 S. 4th Ave in Pocatello. Burial will be at Restlawn Memorial Gardens in Pocatello.
-Keith Tarpley’s funeral will be held at Thursday, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave, Blackfoot. A visitation with family and friends will be Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home and for one hour prior to the funeral services. Interment will be at the Grove City Cemetery in Blackfoot.
-Lance Hick’s family is planning a ‘Celebration of Life’ on Friday, September 7. More details are pending and will be announced at a later date.
Bowers Collision at 1311 South Broadway in Blackfoot is accepting donations to help with funeral costs for Poulson, Tarpley and Hicks.