February 8, 2013
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Two serious injury traffic crashes Thursday in northeast Oregon are reminders of the importance to properly use safety restraints as Oregon State Police joins city and county law enforcement partners Monday for a two week crackdown in a statewide effort February 11 - 24. The increased enforcement effort will target specific behaviors such as proper safety belt use, speeding and texting. The effort is supported by Oregon Department of Transportation with additional overtime supported funding. Information about the statewide effort set to begin next Monday is available on our website at http://www.oregon.gov/osp/NEWSRL/Pages/news/02_06_2013_belts_boosters_texting_speed_blitz.aspx.
The first incident was a two vehicle serious injury traffic crash that occurred in the vicinity of the intersection on Highway 730 at Highway 37 north east of Hermiston. Three people, all not using safety restraints, were seriously injured in the crash.
On February 7, 2013 at approximately 4:50 p.m., a 1999 Kenworth truck pulling a flatbed trailer driven by STEVEN VOTH, age 62, from Orthello, Washington, was eastbound on Highway 730 near milepost 193 approaching the intersection with Highway 37. A 1989 Dodge pickup pulled out in front of the truck and was struck in the left front side. After impact, the truck and flatbed trailer came to rest on a dirt embankment along the north side of Highway 730.
The Dodge pickup's three occupants were not using safety restraints and received serious injuries. Driver MACKENZIE JO DYER, age 20, from Hermiston, was transported by air ambulance to Kadlec Medical Center. She was later transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Passenger JAMES W. COOK JR, age 22, from Boardman, was transported to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, Washington. Passenger KORTLAN LUCAS, age 21, from Hermiston, was transported to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.
VOTH was using safety restraints and was not injured.
OSP troopers from the Hermiston work site are continuing the investigation. Trooper John Lombardi is the lead investigator. OSP was assisted at the scene by numerous area emergency responding agencies.
The second incident occurred Thursday night in a single vehicle rollover traffic crash along Interstate 84 about one mile west of Meacham in northeast Oregon. Only one of the 4 people involved was believed to be using safety restraints.
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Trooper Aaron Dietz, on February 7, 2013 at approximately 7:45 p.m., a 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by HUMBERTO M. RODRIGUEZ, age 30, from Ontario, was eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 237 when it lost control on icy, slid clockwise into a ditch and rolled several times. One of the four occupants, passenger CRISTINA RODRIGUEZ, age 52, from Vale, was ejected. The two other passengers were identified as JOSE L. CORONA, age 44, from Vale, and OLIVIA G. MARINES, age 29, from Ontario.
All four were transported by ambulance to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton with non-life threatening injuries.
HUMBERTO RODRIGUEZ was cited by OSP for Fail to Maintain a Lane of Travel and Failure to Maintain Seat Belt in Working Order.
OSP was assisted at the scene by Umatilla Tribal Fire Department and EMS, and Pendleton Ambulance.