Hailey lane named after former ITD foreman
who was killed by a drunk driver in 1974
The short street leading to ITD's Hailey Maintenance Station isn’t anything significant. In fact, it’s probably better known for also leading to an Idaho Power Company facility. But it now bares the name of an ITD foreman killed by a drunk driver in 1974.
Les Bartholomew was hit on the evening of March 15, 1974, while placing warning signs along then-U.S. 93 between Bellevue and Hailey. As he was returning to his truck to leave the area, the north-bound driver struck Bartholomew from behind before crashing off the opposite side of the road.
“Les was always the first one out on the road when it started to snow. He took a lot of pride in his job,” said Myrt Bartholomew, his widow.
The city of Hailey asked ITD to present suggestions for a street name in case of an emergency along the previously unnamed private lane. District Four employees were asked for ideas – most referring to snow plows and road construction – before the memory of Bartholomew was brought up by another former Hailey foreman.
“We were given a great opportunity to pay tribute to one of our own when the city of Hailey asked us to name the street,” District 4 Engineer Devin Rigby said. “Fortunately, few have paid the same price as Les, but the dedication exhibited by Les that night to maintain a safe roadway is carried on by every one of our local crew members throughout the year.”
Bartholomew, 50 years old at the time of the accident, is survived by his wife and their four children. The family was given a replica of the street sign as a token of ITD’s appreciation.
A dedication ceremony of the sign was scheduled for today (Friday, Oct. 3) at the Hailey maintenance shed. Members of the family were invited to attend.