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Dec-24-2009 22:07printcomments

Fatal Traffic Crash in Coos County Attributed to Icy Conditions

A California man died in the crash on Highway 42 east of Remote, in Coos County.

Fatal crash in Coos County, Oregon 12-24-09
Fatal crash in Coos County
Photograph Source: Oregon State Police.

(COOS BAY) - Oregon State Police troopers are continuing the investigation of a single-vehicle fatal traffic crash Thursday morning on Highway 42, about five miles east of Remote, in Coos County.

Sergeant John Keeler with OSP, says icy conditions were a contributing factor in the crash that resulted in the death of 48-year old Kenneth Michael Rasmussen of Bakersfield, California.

Keeler says that the crash happened at approximately 9:45 a.m. when Mr. Rasmussen's 2000 Ford F350 pickup was westbound on Highway 42 near milepost 43.

According to witnesses following the pickup, it traveled across an icy bridge and began to fishtail. Mr. Rasmussen lost control, striking an embankment on the westbound shoulder, and the vehicle flipped twice before coming to rest on its top.

Kenneth Rasmussen, who was the lone occupant, was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was using safety restraints, Keeler said.

OSP troopers from the Coos Bay Area Command office are continuing the investigation.

Coos County Sheriff's Office, Bridge Fire Department, and ODOT assisted at the scene. The highway was restricted to one lane of travel for about 2 1/2 hours.

State, county and city law enforcement agencies are working together to try and prevent these tragic traffic crashes from happening during the Christmas Holiday period (6:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 23rd, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, December 27th).

During last year's 102-hour Christmas holiday period, six people were killed in 6 separate Oregon traffic crashes.

According to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) statistics, during the last ten years over this holiday period an average of 4 traffic deaths have occurred. OSP troopers arrested 50 DUII drivers over the 2008 holiday period.

Holiday travelers are urged to remember these tips:

* Remember that colder temperatures are leading to icy roadway conditions in many areas. Expect the unexpected and be alert for quick changes in road conditions, especially watching for ice on bridges and in shaded areas.

* 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.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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D Wishba December 31, 2009 4:06 pm (Pacific time)

The last time i saw Ken about two months ago, he just came up to me and gave me a big hug with a smile. thats the kind of person he was. you will be missed kenny.

Rick McDonald December 27, 2009 9:09 pm (Pacific time)

You were my BIG little buddy I will sure miss you my friend. Love You

jacob hernandez December 27, 2009 6:22 pm (Pacific time)

i know this man he was a great man i will miss him and he will forever be in my heart

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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