July 8, 2013
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Preliminary information indicates 5 people died in five separate traffic crashes in Oregon during the 102-hour Fourth of July holiday period between 6:00 p.m., July 3, and 11:59 p.m., July 7. All five crashes occurred on July 5th. According to ODOT’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) statistics, this was the deadliest Fourth of July holiday period since 2008 when there were six reported deaths.
The following is a brief overview of the five reported fatal traffic crashes:
* On July 5, 2013 at approximately 2:00 a.m., a passenger car driven by a 33-year old Weiser, Idaho man traveled off Highway 20 near milepost 240 west of Vale and overturned. The driver was not using safety restraints and was partially ejected. He was pronounced deceased at the scene. Oregon State Police (OSP) is the lead investigating agency.
* On July 5, 2013 at approximately 3:53 a.m., a single vehicle rollover traffic crash occurred at SE 60th Avenue and SE Ash Street in Portland resulting in the death of a 25-year old man. The victim was not using safety restraints. Portland Police Bureau (PPB) is the lead investigating agency.
* On July 5, 2013 at approximately 2:15 p.m., an adult male crashed his motorcycle in the 1400 block of SE 10th Avenue in Portland. The man was pronounced deceased at the scene. Preliminary information indicates a medical issue may have been a contributing factor in the crash. PPB is the lead investigating agency.
* On July 5, 2013 at approximately 4:46 p.m., a 75-year old Yachats man died after he was struck by a passenger car while trying to walk across Highway 101 just north of Yachats. OSP is continuing the investigation and no enforcement action taken pending its completion.
* On July 5, 2013 at approximately 6:00 p.m., a 54-year old Salem man died when he lost control of his motorcycle on Breitenbush Road sixteen miles northeast of Detroit and crashed into another vehicle. Marion County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigating agency.
During the 2012 Fourth of July 30-hour holiday period, there were no reported fatal crashes. Last year, the holiday period was shorter because July 4 was a mid-week date. The deadliest Fourth of July holiday period occurred in 1980 when there were 19 reported deaths during a 78-hour period.
OSP troopers reported 60 DUII arrests statewide during this year’s holiday period, an increase over the 21 reported arrests during last year’s shorter period. Prior to each holiday period, OSP encourages citizens to report possible DUII drivers they spot on the road so troopers or other agency officers can get into position to stop the vehicle and determine if the driver is impaired. Of this year’s 60 reported DUII arrests, 28 percent (17) were the direct results of citizen driving complaint reports to OSP dispatch centers helping troopers get in position to stop the vehicle.
The following OSP offices reported three or more DUII arrests during the holiday period:
* Springfield Area Command office – 7 DUII arrests
* Portland Area Command office – 7 DUII arrests
* Bend Area Command office – 5 DUII arrests
* Salem Area Command office – 4 DUII arrests
* North Plains Work Site office – 4 DUII arrests
* Albany Area Command office – 3 DUII arrests
* Pendleton Area Command office – 3 DUII arrests
* The Dalles Area Command office – 3 DUII arrests
* Tillamook Work Site office – 3 DUII arrests
Each day, OSP troopers and law enforcement officers help disabled motorists along area highways. With the increase number of travelers during holiday periods, the number of motorists needing assistance increases. Troopers assisted several hundred disabled motorists this holiday period, some of which turned out to be more than just someone whose car broke down along the road.
* On July 4, an OSP sergeant stopped to help a disabled motorist northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 258. The vehicle turned out to be reported stolen and the 39-year old male driver was arrested for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Unlawful Possession of Heroin and Methamphetamine.
* On July 6, OSP and Oakridge Police Department responded to a report that a female stopped along Highway 38 near Oakridge flagged down a passing motorist requesting a call for assistance. Police and fire medics responded to the scene and learned the woman was the subject of an attempt to locate after being reported suicidal to another law enforcement agency. She was taken to a hospital for a medical evaluation.
* On July 6, an OSP senior trooper saw a man in the darkness carrying a gas can walking in the middle of the right hand eastbound lane of Interstate 84 near Baker City. The 74-year old man was arrested when the trooper learned he was wanted on outstanding arrest warrants out of Linn and Wasco counties.
According to ODOT FARS, 139 people have died in Oregon traffic crashes through July 7, 2013.
(Note: OSP does not track DUII arrests statistics made by other law enforcement agencies)