Wednesday, November 27, 2002
At approximately 8:55 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, the Washington State Patrol along with the Department of Transportation, Klickitat County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and Klickitat County Fire units responded to a commercial truck fire on SR 97 near Biggs Bridge.
Matthew Schilperoot of Yakima, was driving a two-axle truck-tractor towing two box trailers southbound on SR 97 when he observed flames coming from the engine compartment of the tractor.
Schilperoot pulled the combination off to the west-side of SR 97 and the tractor and front trailer became fully engulfed in flames.
The truck and trailers were registered to "Roadway Express" out of Yakima.
The fire and smoke closed all lanes of SR 97 for nearly one hour until a lane could be cleared to allow traffic to again flow.
Investigation at the scene determined that an engine rod had broken free from the tractor, which then caused a fire to ignite in the engine. The fire quickly spread and as a result the truck and one trailer was a total loss. The rear trailer also sustained some heat damage to the front.
The truck was not hauling any hazardous material but miscellaneous items such as cardboard, mint, electrical signs and books.
The entire roadway was reopened and clear of all the debris at approximately 12:25 a.m.
On Nov. 18, officers from the Bingen-White Salmon Police Department and the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office responded to a call of a burglary in progress occurring at an apartment complex in Bingen.
Upon arrival, officers were able to recover electronic equipment that had been taken from the apartment.
Two adult female suspects were arrested. Arrested were Amy Schoepke, age 18, and Erica Gonzalez, age 19.
A third suspect is being sought and the investigation is continuing.