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Police

Report for Washington State Patrol and Oregon State Police

WASHINGTON

STATE PATROL

There were no injuries in a one-vehicle accident on State Route 97 at milepost 5, five miles south of Goldendale. The accident occurred on May 7, 2009, at 2:05 p.m.

According to the report, Rajvirpal S. Bains, 31, Oak Grove, Calif., was driving his 1999 Freightliner with trailer loaded with apples southbound on SR 14. The semi failed to negotiate a curve in the road. It left the roadway, tipping over and losing the load on the shoulder of the southbound lane.

Bains was cited for negligent driving.

OREGON

STATE POLICE

A Gresham-area man died Monday afternoon when the pickup he was driving collided into the rear of a stopped ODOT highway maintenance truck in a work zone on Interstate 84 west of Cascade Locks.

This was the second traffic crash involving vehicles approaching areas where ODOT personnel were conducting maintenance or work zone activity, and is a reminder of the need to be attentive at all times while driving.

The other was a non-injury crash east of The Dalles on Interstate 84.

According to Oregon State Police (OSP) recruit trooper Alex Monarch, on May 11, 2009 at approximately 3:12 p.m. an ODOT maintenance truck with a crash absorber box and illuminated arrow sign was positioned stationary in the left eastbound lane of I-84 near milepost 35.

The ODOT work zone was well-marked for approximately two miles prior to the location where traffic was to merge to the right lane.

A 1997 Chevrolet Astro van driven by Dorin Tapu, 57, from Gresham, was following a co-worker's vehicle eastbound in the left lane. The co-worker merged to the right lane as directed by signs and arrows on the ODOT truck, but Tapu failed to merge right and crashed into the back of the ODOT crash absorber box. After impact the pickup glanced to the right and collided with a guardrail.

Tapu was reportedly not using safety restraints and died at the scene. Cascade Locks Fire Department personnel responded to provide initial medical treatment before he died.

The ODOT truck's operator, Brian Bowlby, 45, assigned at the Cascade Locks ODOT office, was not injured.

OSP troopers from the Portland Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, ODOT, Multnomah County medical examiner and victim's assistance volunteers from the Trauma Intervention Program assisted at the scene.

The right eastbound lane was closed during the investigation until about 6 p.m.

In one of two traffic crashes Monday involving vehicles colliding with ODOT maintenance trucks on I-84, Oregon State Police (OSP) cited a commercial truck driver after he was involved in a non-injury crash east of The Dalles.

According to OSP senior trooper Michael Holloran, on May 11, 2009 at 2:48 p.m. an ODOT 5-yard dump truck with a trailing crash absorber box and illuminated arrow sign was westbound on I-84 near milepost 96 trailing three other ODOT maintenance vehicles. The ODOT truck operated by William Grant Mead, 47, from The Dalles, was partially blocking the right westbound lane to protect the other ODOT vehicles. The overhead arrow board was illuminated to direct rear approaching traffic to move left.

Approaching westbound from the rear was a 2006 Mack truck pulling two tankers containing ash used to mix concrete. The truck's driver, Felix J. Braxton, 66, from Portland, reportedly misjudged his clearance and didn't move far enough to the left. The right front of the Mack truck crashed into the left rear crash absorber box. After impact, the Mack truck and trailers slid into the center concrete median flattening trailer tires. The rear tanker punctured spilling contents onto the freeway, and the truck and trailers came to rest blocking the left westbound lane.

A small fire started which was quickly put out by ODOT personnel, and a small diesel spill was also contained.

Braxton and Mead were not injured. Both were using safety restraints.

A tow company responded, moving the damaged vehicles to the freeway shoulder while an ODOT sweeper cleaned the highway so traffic could be re-opened by 4:30 p.m.

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