A Bingen man was killed in a motorcycle/vehicle accident on June 1, 2007, at approximately 11 a.m.
The accident occurred on State Route 14 at milepost 47.5, three miles east of Stevenson.
According to the report, a 2000 Ford pickup driven by Robert D. Quoss, 69, Carson, was eastbound on SR 14 in a left turn lane to turn north on Wind River Road. Douglas G. Burrell, 39, Bingen, was driving his 2001 Yamaha motorcycle westbound on SR 14, approaching the Wind River Road intersection. Quoss observed an ambulance with lights and siren activated approaching from the rea. He attempted to turn his vehicle north onto Wind River Road, failing to yield right of way to Burrell. The motorcycle struck the right front of the pickup in the westbound lane.
Burrell was deceased at the scene with head injuries.
The case is still under investigation.
The partially decomposed body of what is believed to be that of Janet Durall, a 64 year old resident of Quartzite, Ariz., was located at about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, 2007, after an extensive search of possible locations in the area surrounding the southern flanks of Mt St Helens.
The body was discovered in a wooded area 21 miles east of Cougar, along Forest Service Road 25 in the Cedar Flats area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Autopsy results related to the investigation did not reveal any evidence as to the cause or manner of death.
Sheriff's detectives continued to seek evidence that will provide for a positive identification of the body.
Information which led to the eventual discovery of her body was obtained through interviews with William Spear of Camp Verde, Ariz. Spear provided information to detectives surrounding the circumstances of Durall's death.
Investigation is continuing and is being conducted by Skamania County Sheriff's Office Detectives.
Two Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division troopers acting on a hunch unexpectedly discovered a large outdoor marijuana grow site south of The Dalles earlier this week.
The troopers also surprised two armed men guarding the site, one who was arrested after a foot chase. This discovery has again raised concerns about the growing number of large outdoor marijuana grows in remote locations and the potential for violence to police and others who come upon these sites.
On May 28, 2007, two OSP Fish and Wildlife Division troopers from The Dalles Area Command office responded to a complaint of a hound hunter running dogs in the Upper Mill Creek area approximately ten miles south of The Dalles. While checking the area, one of the troopers noticed a rock that appeared out of place and believed it was a marker for a possible bear bait station.
The troopers noticed near the rock was a set a tracks that they followed into the woods approximately 100 yards where they saw two Hispanic males drinking beer come out of the brush where it was littered with empty cans. As the Troopers attempted to make contact with them, they tried to elude the troopers on foot. Troopers caught one of the suspects and detained him at which point they found he was in possession of a 9mm handgun.
Further observation of the area found several sets of tracks that went over the edge of a draw. Following these tracks, it led the troopers down a steep ravine for approximately one mile into a large clearing that contained what appeared to be several hundred marijuana plants with a sophisticated watering system including cistern, water lines, and gravity fed sprinklers. There was also a camp with camping equipment, food, stoves, propane tanks, and firearms.
Follow up investigation the next day involved an eradication team comprised of OSP troopers, United States Forest Service, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and members of the Mid Columbia Narcotics Task Force. The task force includes personnel from the Wasco County Sheriff's Office, Hood River County Sheriff's Office (to include air support), Hood River Police Department, and The Dalles Police Department.
The multi-agency eradication team traveled back to the location where the marijuana grow operation was and found four separate areas where the forest had been cleared to grow marijuana. Approximately 8,900 marijuana plants averaging one-foot in height were seized. These plants, if allowed to grow and mature to the point of being harvested, may have an estimated value of nearly $9 million.
The lone suspect arrested by OSP troopers is identified as Luis Sandaval, 34. He is currently in custody in the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) in The Dalles on the following charges: manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a firearm, attempt to elude an officer on foot, escape in the third degree, and offensive littering
Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section Lieutenant Mike Dingeman noted that Oregon has seen an increase in the number of multi-thousand marijuana plant gardens as well as well-armed individuals who are specifically assigned to guard these locations. Between 2005 and 2006, the seizure of marijuana plants from outdoor grow sites has increased from about 32,000 to over 100,000.
"There has been a significant increase in the number of multi-thousand plant variety gardens," Lieutenant Dingeman said. "With these larger gardens also come well-armed guards that pose a very real threat for the safety of anyone who may unexpectedly come upon these areas. If anyone does come across this type of a situation, contact law enforcement as soon as possible."