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Aug-09-2007 05:28printcomments

Construction Zone Crash Spares Major Injuries

Witness reported a teen's driving behavior prior to the crash as being somewhat erratic.

Oregon construction crash scene 8-8-07
Photo of crash scene: Oregon State Police

(SUTTLE LAKE, Ore.) - A three vehicle rear end collision occurred today in a posted construction zone on Hwy 20 W near Suttle Lake. The crash was reported at 1:20 PM. Police investigating the crash say the construction zone was well posted with three signs prior to the flagging operation. The signs read Road Work Ahead; Be Prepared to Stop and a sign with picture of a worker holding a sign saying Next Mile. Police say 18-year old Bradley Zelmer of Bend was westbound on Hwy 20 operating a 1998 Ford Mustang along with his passenger, 15-year old Callie Cattell, also of Bend.

Zelmer rear ended a 1990 Subaru Station Wagon driven by 35-year old Neil Templeton of Montana Zelmer was the 2nd vehicle in line stopped for the flagger. Zelmer had three passengers in his car.

After his vehicle was struck from behind it was pushed into a stopped 2005 Ford pickup operated by 63-year old Larry Nelson of Junction City. Nelson's wife, Shirley was a passenger in that vehicle along with two grandchildren.

Police describe the incident as a violent rear end collision, adding that it is fortunate that only minor injuries were reported and nobody was transported via ambulance to the hospital.

A cage carrying a puppy in the Templeton vehicle was crushed and that animal was taken to a veterinarian clinic in Sisters by Black Butte Police. Witness reported Zelmer's driving behavior prior to the crash as being somewhat erratic. Zelmer was issued a citation for Careless Driving. Traffic was down to one lane for over an hour. ODOT, Black Butte Police, Sisters Fire and Ambulance, and Jim Crowley - Central Oregon Police Chaplain who was driving through the area at the time of the crash rendered assistance. Oregon State Police would like to remind motorists that this is the height of the construction zone period. Motorists driving into a construction zone need to reduce their speed and be prepared to stop.

Traffic fines are much more severe for violations committed within a construction zone.




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