There probably isn’t a person in the Stevensville area that doesn’t know Nancy Lowell, or at least been touched by her generosity to the area. For years, Nancy was the Stevensville Town Clerk. She began working for the city in 1986 and by the time she retired in 2009, she was the Town Clerk/Treasurer. In an interview in 2017, she said helping to write the grant for the Bike Path was one of her best memories. Her grant writing skills came in handy for another project that has benefited the community, the Clothes Closet. She began volunteering when the Clothes Closet was located on Main Street in an old building that has since been torn down to make way for the PayneWest Insurance building. She helped to move the free clothing store to another old building located on Stevensville School’s property and then wrote more grants to facilitate the move to their current location on Middle Burnt Fork Road in the same building as Pantry Partners Food Bank. Another project she began was due to a conversation with her grandson, Axel Sorenson. When he was in kindergarten, he told her there were kids in his school that didn’t have pencils and paper on the first day of school. She and a group of friends gathered the school supplies and began distributing. Now the group supplies students in Stevensville, Corvallis, Victor and Lone Rock.
Nancy’s family has always meant everything to her. Last Wednesday, Nancy, her daughter Jamie Lowell, and their two dogs were on their way to Boise, Idaho to celebrate Axel’s graduation from lineman school. On a deserted stretch of road north of Challis, Idaho, the car’s tires caught the edge of the road. Nancy was driving and was unable to pull the car back on the road. The car plunged 400 feet down a steep embankment, trapping Nancy behind the steering wheel.
Jamie climbed out and made her way up the steep embankment even though she had two black eyes and a possible concussion. This stretch of road is extremely isolated and there is no cell service for many miles in either direction. Jamie flagged down a passerby, Kevin, who helped her call for help. The EMTs had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate Nancy and then she was flown by emergency helicopter to Boise for treatment.
While her mother’s condition was being assessed in Boise, Jamie was still in Challis. She was covered in blood and had to find her dogs. One EMT, Stephanie (Jamie doesn’t know her last name), took Jamie to her home where Jamie showered and cleaned up. It turned out that Kevin, the person who she had flagged down, was Stephanie’s son. The dogs were found but one had a broken leg. Another EMT took the dog to the vet where the leg was set and a cast put on it. Then, the first EMT took Jamie and her dogs to Boise to her mom.
Nancy has several severe injuries. Her back was broken in two places along with her sternum, collar bone, most of her ribs, and bones in her face.