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Report for Washington State Patrol, Klickitat County Sheriff, Oregon State Police and Hood River EMS



Jackson George, 25, Goldendale, was charged with vehicle assault, hit and run and DUI following a one-vehicle accident on March 15, 2009, at approximately 9 p.m.

The accident occurred on State Route 97 at mile post 22, 10 miles north of Goldendale.

According to the report, George was driving southbound on SR 97 when he crossed the centerline. The vehicle left the roadway on the eastbound shoulder, rolled and came to rest on its top in a drainage ditch. George fled the scene and was located shortly after.

He suffered minor contusions and lacerations and was transported to Klickitat Valley Hospital.

Norris J. Smartlowit, 47, Goldendale, a passenger in the vehicle, suffered neck strain and minor lacerations. He was also transported to KVH.

Glendora George, 49, Glendale, also a passenger, suffered a head injury and was airlifted to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver.

Jackson George was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Neither Smartlowit nor Glendora George were wearing restraints.



Two weeks ago, speeding drivers were much more likely to receive infractions due to an X-52 emphasis patrol in Yakima County. One hundred thirty six speeding infractions were written by nine different law enforcement agencies throughout Yakima County last week.

Drug Recognition Officers (DREs) and three K-9 units were also on hand to assist in the patrols, including Klickitat County Sheriff's Office DRE Sgt. Joe Riggers and KCSO's K-9 unit Deputy Ed Gunnyon with his partner Jet.

KCSO is partnered with the Yakima County Traffic Safety Task Force and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) in conducting joint enforcement efforts in both Yakima and Klickitat counties.

Sponsored by the safety commission, X-52 patrols are designed for multiple law enforcement agencies to work together concentrating traffic enforcement efforts on specific locations where data shows impaired driving and speeding collisions are prevalent. X-52 patrols within Klickitat County are expected to occur in the coming months.

In addition to the 136 speeding infractions, other citations included: five seat belt infractions; one aggressive driving infraction; one negligent driving infraction; two child passenger safety infractions; six DUI arrests; 21 suspended/revoked drivers; 43 uninsured motorists; three drug related arrests; four misdemeanor warrant arrests; and nine other criminal arrests or citations.



On March 13, 2009, at approximately 7:30 a.m. Oregon State Police (OSP) and Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue personnel responded to a reported commercial truck fire on the eastbound shoulder of I-84 near milepost 88. Fire personnel used water to suppress the fire, but due to temperatures in the 20's the water that covered the eastbound lanes froze.

After several vehicles driving by the scene lost control and spun out, OSP closed the eastbound lanes.

OSP troopers and firefighters grabbed shovels off the fire truck and shoveled sand and gravel from the highway shoulder onto the icy traffic lanes. After about 20 minutes of shoveling, they were able to get one lane re-opened while awaiting ODOT personnel to arrive to finish sanding and re-opening all traffic lanes.



A 23-year-old Portland woman died Monday afternoon after falling from a popular hiking trail west of Cascade Locks. At 6:09 p.m., Hood River 911 received a call from a man who had accompanied the female on the hike. He reported that the woman had died after falling off of a cliff.

Rescue teams reached the location shortly after 7 p.m. They found the body of Rhonda Kristen Casto of Portland, down an embankment, about 100 feet off of the trail. The trail was wet and rescuers reported sleet and hail in the area of the fall. The case is still under investigation and more information will be released when available.

The area where the fall occurred was about one mile south of the parking lot at the Eagle Creek Trailhead. This is the second death that has occurred on the trail in less than one month. On Feb. 26, 2009, the body of Maureen Dolores Gamache was found on the trail, about three miles from the parking lot. Results of the autopsy in that case are still pending.

Hikers are asked to use caution when navigating trails this time of year. Heavy rains can lead to trails being slippery and can create conditions that are often difficult to navigate. It is always recommended to notify someone of your itinerary and to hike with a companion.


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