On Oct. 5, 2009, a car versus cow collision occurred on Sunnyside Road in Trout Lake. The vehicle was driven by 20-year-old Michael E. Parker-Lee of Trout Lake. A passenger in the vehicle, 23-year-old Nathaniel R. Hall of Roy was killed in the collision.
Following an investigation by the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office and the Washington State Patrol, it was determined that Parker-Lee was operating the vehicle in a reckless manner which contributed to the collision.
As a result, Parker-Lee was charged with vehicular homicide and made his first appearance in Klickitat County Superior Court on Dec. 21, 2009.
Two people were injured in a two-vehicle accident on Dec. 22, 2009, at approximately 1:14 p.m. The accident occurred on State Route 14 at milepost 87, five miles west of Wishram.
According to the report, Georgia G. Gowdy, The Dalles, was driving her 1995 Dodge pickup eastbound on SR 14 at milepost 87, entering a curve to the right. A 1998 Buick Regal, driven by Vicki D. Stewart, 48, Dallesport, was traveling westbound on SR 14. The pickup began to fish-tail and slid into the westbound lane, striking the Buick. Both vehicles rotated into the westbound ditch. The Buick rolled before coming to rest on its top.
Gowdy had a split lip and some soreness but was not transported to any hospital.
Stewart had massive internal injuries. She was taken by Life Flight to Mid Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles and then to Emanual Hospital in Portland.
Walter S. Cloud, 45, Wishram, a passenger in the pickup, had a left leg fracture. He was transported to Mid Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles.
Mark A. Grittith, 49, Dallesport, a passenger in the Buick, was not injured.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Gowdy is charged with 1 to 2 counts of vehiculr assault/hit run.
Oregon State Police (OSP) is urging drivers to be attentive and slow down while driving during potentially icy conditions following a third similar incident in as many weeks in which an OSP patrol car was struck by another motorist while patrolling the icy roadways of the Columbia River Gorge.
The OSP trooper was slightly injured and his patrol car damaged Sunday night when he was struck by another vehicle that had lost control near Hood River. The trooper was released from an area hospital after treatment for minor injuries and the other vehicle's driver was cited for careless driving.
According to OSP Sergeant Pat Shortt, on Dec. 27, 2009, at approximately 8:55 p.m. Trooper Mark Jubitz was responding to a crash on eastbound Interstate 84 near the Hood River city center exit. Roadways in the area were extremely icy after a series of brief snow showers moved through the area.
Trooper Jubitz, who had his overhead emergency lights activated, was in the process of slowing down so that he could pull onto the freeway shoulder and assist at a previous crash scene. As he slowed he was struck from behind by a Honda Pilot sport utility vehicle driven by David Nieto, 33, from The Dalles. Nieto had also been traveling eastbound and was unable to stop due in part to the icy roadway before crashing into the back of the patrol car.
Nieto was accompanied by three of his children, twins age 8 and a 3-year old, and a 12-year old child. Neither Nieto nor his passengers were injured.
"The hazards of traveling on icy or snowy roads are only magnified when drivers are traveling too fast for conditions or being inattentive. Icy roads are a hazard in the Gorge and other highways so please pay attention to your surroundings and adjust your speed. If the pavement looks wet and it is cold outside there is a good chance that the roadway surface may be icy," said Sergeant Shortt.
OSP was assisted at the scene by the Hood River City Police and the Hood River Fire Department.
As a side note reminder, Oregon's "Move Over" law is changing Jan. 1, 2010 with two important additions to the law originally passed in 2003 to increase safety travelers and those working along Oregon's roadways.
"Failure to Maintain Safe Distance from Emergency Vehicle or Ambulance" (ORS 811.147, a class B traffic violation) was amended by House Bill 2040 to add roadside assistance vehicles and tow vehicles to the list of vehicles that require motorists to "maintain a safe distance." The law also clarifies what "slow down" means when it's unsafe to move over.
Key clarifications of the amended "Move Over" law:
The original law specified law enforcement, fire and ambulance vehicles displaying required warning lights. Drivers must now also move over or slow down when roadside assistance or tow vehicles are providing help to disabled vehicles.
"Slow down" means reducing speed by at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit if making a lane change is unsafe or not required (i.e., two-lane road).
A wrong way driver is facing traffic charges after colliding with an Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper's patrol car Monday night on Interstate 84 in the Bonneville area. The trooper was uninjured and the driver was held overnight at a Hood River hospital for observation.
On Dec. 21, 2009, at approximately 8:50 p.m. reports were being received of a wrong way driver traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-84 near milepost 37. OSP Senior Trooper Kaipo Raiser responded and quickly spotted the wrong way 1999 Jeep Cherokee in the left lane near milepost 40. While positioning the OSP patrol car to get the wrong way driver's attention to stop, the Jeep collided with the patrol car at approximately 15 mph and stopped.
Raiser was uninjured and checked on the female driver of the Jeep. Medical personnel were dispatched to the scene and subsequently transported Trudie Lynn Eberle, 52, from Sunnyside to Providence Hospital in Hood River. Eberle told the trooper she thought she was still in the Yakima area.
Eberle was subsequently cited to appear for driving under the influence of intoxicants and reckless driving.
"Senior Trooper Raiser risked his own safety and may have prevented a serious crash from occurring if she had continued driving," said OSP Lieutenant Pat Ashmore.
Law enforcement agencies in Oregon and nationwide are continuing participation in a crackdown on impaired driving that started Dec. 16 and runs through Jan. 3, 2010.
Holiday travelers are urged to remember these tips:
Don't drink and drive ("Buzzed driving is drunk driving"), and don't ride with anyone who has had too much to drink.
Never use illegal drugs.
Volunteer to be a designated driver.
If someone who's been drinking insists on driving, take his/her keys.
If hosting a gathering, provide non-alcoholic beverages.
Use public transit or local drive-home services provided by taxis and other companies.
Always use safety restraints.
Avoid travel after midnight, especially on weekends or holidays.
Drive alert and defensively at all times.
Report any suspected impaired driving by calling 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865) or 9-1-1.