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Police

Reports from Washington and Oregon State Patrols

WASHINGTON

STATE PATROL

One person was injured in a three-vehicle accident that occurred on May 23, 2007, at approximately 10:24 a.m., on State Route 14 at milepost 35, eight miles west of Stevenson.

According to the report, Olga I. Zhironkina, 46, Vancouver, had slowed or stopped her 2002 Merz for a deer crossing the roadway. A 2006 Harley Davison motorcycle driven by Thomas C. Grigg, 51, slowed and swerved, attempting to avoid the car. Grigg was unable to avoid contact and laid his motorcycle down in the roadway. Jesse T. Lyons, 31, Portland, was driving a 2005 Yamaha. He also laid his motorcycle down to avoid striking Grigg.

Neither Zhironkina nor Lyons were injured. Grigg suffered a broken arm and a fractured leg and was transport to Southwest Washington Medical Center.

The accident is still under investigation.

OREGON

STATE PATROL

An adult male motorcycle operator died Saturday afternoon when he lost cotrol, struck a guardrail and was ejected from his motorcycle westbound Interstate 84 about ten miles west of Hood River. An Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper arrived on scene shortly after the crash and attempted CPR to revive the man but his attempts were unsuccessful. The victim is identified as Frederick John Sunderlin, 57, from Hillsboro, Ore.

On May 26, 2007, at approximately 1:15 p.m. Sunderlin was operating a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle westbound on I-84 near milepost 54 on a ride with a friend who was behind him on a separate motorcycle. For an unknown reason, Sunderlin's motorcycle veered to the right and struck a guardrail. He was ejected down a short embankment.

An OSP trooper arrived on scene a couple minutes after the crash and attempted CPR for about 15 minutes before Sunderlin was pronounced deceased by Cascade Locks Fire Department medical personnel. Sunderlin, who was wearing a protective helmet, was on a ride in the Columbia River Gorge with his friend.

OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office are completing the investigation. ODOT assisted at the scene with traffic control while the right westbound lane was closed until 3:30 p.m.

Oregon State Police (OSP) are continuing the investigation into the May 22 fatal traffic crash involving a wrong way driver in the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 east of Hood River.

On May 22, 2007 at approximately 4:03 a.m. a 1979 GMC pickup driven by Mathias McConville, 28, from Wapato, was eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near milepost 69 when it collided nearly head-on with a westbound 2006 GMC Yukon. At the time of the crash the GMC Yukon had just begun to pass a commercial truck towing two trailers. As the GMC Yukon was in the left westbound lane it collided with the wrong way GMC pickup and then was forced into one of the trailers towed by the commercial truck.

McConville was pronounced deceased at the scene. He reportedly was not using safety restraints.

The following information and safety tips are offered related to wrong way drivers.

Who is the wrong way driver?

Intoxicated driver

Older drivers who easily get confused

Intentional drivers (example -- trying to avoid traffic jams/congestion caused by crashes)

Inattentive drivers who mistake an off ramp for an on ramp

Wrong way drivers usually drive in the inside lane or inside shoulder, believing they are actually on a two-lane highway.

Most common types of wrong way driver involved crashes are head-on or sideswipe crashes.

Tips

Watch far ahead for signs of a possible wrong way driver, looking for signs similar to pending problems or developing emergency situations such as other traffic braking or swerving to avoid something, or the obvious -- headlights coming in the opposite direction.

Caution against driving long periods in the inside lane on freeways, especially on curves.

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