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Jul-05-2006 15:19printcomments

Eight People Die on Oregon Roads Over July 4th Weekend

Preliminary information from Oregon State Police and ODOT indicates that eight people died in traffic crashes during the 2006 Fourth of July extended holiday period, equaling the average number of fatalities during this holiday weekend since 1970.

crash scene
All photos courtesy: Oregon State Police

(SALEM) - Preliminary information from Oregon State Police and ODOT indicates that eight people died in traffic crashes during the 2006 Fourth of July extended holiday period, equaling the average number of fatalities during this holiday weekend since 1970.

Between 6:00 PM, Friday, June 30th, and midnight, Tuesday, July 4th, eight people died in 8 separate traffic crashes on Oregon highways over the July 4th weekend.

Two additional traffic-related deaths occurred Friday afternoon. OSP says last year, eight people were killed in 7 separate fatal crashes during the holiday period. Prior to last year there were 10 fatalities in 2004, seven fatalities in 2003, and nine fatalities in 2002.

The following is a review of the known fatal crashes, including the two on Friday afternoon prior to 6:00 PM:

* On Friday, June 30th, Portland Police Bureau investigated a fatal auto/pedestrian crash in the area of S.E. 82nd Avenue and S.E. Holgate. The driver of vehicle was reportedly 15 years of age and pedestrian was killed.

* On Friday, June 30th, at about 2:50 PM, Oregon State Police investigated a single vehicle fatal crash on Highway 199 about twelve miles south of Grants Pass. A 50-year old Wilderville woman died when her vehicle left the highway and struck several trees. She was reportedly not using safety restraints.

* On Friday, June 30th, at about 7:10 PM, Oregon State Police investigated a two-vehicle head-on crash on Highway 18 near milepost 44 in the McMinnville area. A 59-year old Portland man was killed after his Mazda Miata crossed the centerline and crashed head-on with a Ford Explorer. The victim was using safety restraints.

* On Saturday, July 1st, at 6:47 PM, Marion County Sheriff's Office investigated a fatal crash on Silverton Road NE involving a motorcycle and passenger car. A 59-year old man operating a motorcycle was killed when he attempted to pass two vehicles and struck one of the vehicles that was making a left turn into a driveway.

* On Saturday, July 1st, at approximately 9:30 PM, one person was killed after a Gresham Police Department patrol vehicle struck the van he was riding in. The investigation into that case is continuing.

* On Saturday, July 1st, at 10:45 PM, Oregon State Police investigated a fatal auto / pedestrian crash on Interstate 5 northbound near milepost 24. A 40-year old Medford man was killed when he was struck while attempting to cross the northbound lanes on foot.

* On Sunday, July 2nd, at 12:45 AM, Klamath Falls Police Department investigated a fatal auto / bicycle crash on Washburn Way. A 50-year old Klamath Falls bicyclist was killed when a passenger car struck him.

* On Sunday, July 2nd, at 4:00 AM, Oregon State Police investigated a single vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 84 east of La Grande that resulted in the death of a 21-year old Tacoma, Washington man. The driver was the unlicensed 15-year old brother of the victim who reportedly fell asleep while driving.

* On Sunday, July 2nd, at 1:25 PM, Oregon State Police investigated a single vehicle rollover crash on Highway 99W east of Dallas. A 26-year old Corvallis man was killed when he lost control of his car while attempting a pass and was ejected from the rolling vehicle. Investigators believe the victim was improperly using the safety restraints by only having the shoulder strap across his chest and not using the lap belt.

* On Monday, July 3rd, at 7:20 PM, Oregon State Police investigated a two-vehicle head-on crash on Highway 22E near milepost 42. A 34-year old Stayton woman died after losing control and crossing in the opposite lane where the car was struck broadside by another vehicle.

Oregon State Police troopers working during the extended holiday weekend made 81 DUII arrests, two more than were recorded last year. Troopers also issued nearly 1,350 speed-related citations, about 100 citations for safety restraint or child safety seat violations, and assisted more than 600 disabled motorists.

Police also noted these incidents during the holiday weekend:

ยท On Saturday, July 1st, a 1988 Nissan Pathfinder with three occupants driven by 27-year old Dwayne J. Halbert of Caldwell, Idaho, attempted to elude several Idaho-area police departments westbound on Interstate 84 into Oregon where it attempted to exit the freeway in Ontario at high speed. The Nissan ran a stop sign and broadsided a 1999 Chevrolet pickup with eight occupants including two in the bed of the pickup.

Halbert was taken into custody by Ontario police after attempting to flee the scene on foot. Several people were injured and transported to a local hospital.

He was lodged in Malheur County jail on multiple charges including Felony Attempt to Elude, DUII, ten counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Reckless Driving, two counts of Assault in the Second Degree, and being a Fugitive From Justice based upon an outstanding Idaho warrant.

* On Monday, July 3rd, two Seattle-area men were arrested during a traffic stop northbound on Interstate 5 south of Grants Pass after an OSP Sergeant, assisted by a drug dog, discovered nearly 10 pounds of marijuana.

* On Tuesday, July 4th, 40-year old Georgia resident Robert A. Lewis, was arrested by Oregon State Police for Felony Attempt to Elude and Reckless Driving following an incident during which an OSP trooper attempted to stop his 2000 Kenworth commercial truck for a speed violation on Interstate 84 near milepost 374. Police say Lewis failed to respond to lights and siren for eight miles, driving erratically and failing to maintain a single lane.




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