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Sheriff: Woman in patrol car hurts self with seat belt

A woman on probation severely hurt herself while in the back of a patrol car, the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office said.

Just after 3 p.m. on Wednesday, during an investigation by local law enforcement and state and local probation officers, a 44-year-old woman was arrested on charges of possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. She was placed into the back of a patrol car while officers continued the investigation and performed a search of the vehicle in which the woman had been a passenger.

A short time later, officers returned to the patrol car and found the woman unresponsive. It appeared the woman had used a seat belt in an attempt to harm herself, Sheriff Lynn D. Bowerman said.

Officers immediately began CPR on the woman and called for emergency medical services. The woman was taken by ambulance to Steele Memorial Hospital for treatment and later transported by air ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls where she remains hospitalized in critical condition. Her prognosis is unknown at this time.

Although Bowerman said there is nothing to indicate any wrongdoing on behalf of the officers, the sheriff’s office and Salmon City Police Department have asked Idaho State Police to investigate the incident to ensure all policies and procedures were followed.

Idaho State Police Capt. Danny Bundersen confirmed ISP detectives are investigating, but said the inquiry will take some time to complete. At that time, the results will be turned over to the Lemhi County prosecutor.

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