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Distracted Driving-Related Crash Injures 3 on Interstate 84 in Pendleton: Reminder That April is "Distracted Driving Awareness Month"
April 1, 2013

Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us


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Two commercial truck drivers were cited by Oregon State Police after being involved in a minor injury traffic crash along Interstate 84 in the Pendleton area. The crash is a reminder that distracted driving can be dangerous when drivers divert their attention to focus on something else, which in this case was a cell phone.
 
According to Lieutenant Greg Sherman, on April 1, 2013 at approximately 8:25 a.m., a 2000 Peterbilt truck pulling a trailer loaded with apples driven by ALBERTO GAMEZ, age 46, from Caldwell, Idaho, was westbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 212 traveling about 5 mph as GAMEZ was trying to get to a local tire repair facility because of two flat trailer tires. A second commercial truck, a 2007 Peterbilt tanker truck with tanker trailer driven by WADE WOOD, age 38, from Ontario,  Oregon, was westbound approaching from behind when WOOD failed to notice the slow truck and trailer because he was looking at his cell phone and crashed into the back of the trailer.
 
GAMEZ and his wife, name and age not available, were transported to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton. Both were treated and released for minor injuries. His daughter was also in the vehicle but apparently not injured.
 
WOOD was also transported to St. Anthony Hospital where he was treated and release for minor injuries.
 
GAMEZ was cited by OSP for Operating an Unsafe Vehicle. WOOD was cited for Following Too Close.
 
The highway was restricted to one lane for the majority of the day while crews unload apples to remove them from the scene before the trailer can be moved.
 
OSP troopers from the Pendleton Area Command office were assisted by Pendleton Fire & Ambulance, Umatilla Tribal Fire Department, and ODOT.
 
April is "Distracted Driving Awareness Month", and according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association there are four types of driver distraction, and any of them can be deadly:
 
* Visual: looking at something other than the road
* Auditory: hearing something not related to driving
* Manual: moving your hands from the wheel
* Cognitive: thinking about something other than the complex driving task at hand
 
While most any activity can distract a driver, one of the more common behaviors is using a cell phone. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, taking your eyes off the road for just over 4 seconds while traveling 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field full of people while blindfolded. For more information about the impacts of distracted driving and what you can do to prevent it, visit www.distraction.gov.