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Driver Cited in Connection with Serious Injury Traffic Crash - Highway 97 north of Bend

July 24, 2013

Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247

Photograph links valid at least 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police

Two people were seriously injured Wednesday morning when a car was struck while trying to m ake a U-turn along Highway 97 about four miles north of Bend. Preliminary investigation led to one driver being cited by Oregon State Police (OSP) on several charges.

On July 24, 2013 at approximately 6:15 a.m., a 1999 Toyota Camry driven by MATHEW D. MORKERT, age 21, from Bend, had pulled onto the right side southbound shoulder of Highway 97 near milepost 129 and then attempted a U-turn. As the Toyota entered across the southbound lanes, the driver of a southbound 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier traveling in the left lane braked hard and tried steering left to avoid the collision. The Chevrolet struck the Toyota's driver side and both vehicles came to rest on the highway.

MORKERT was not using safety restraints and upon impact was tossed over to the passenger side. He was extricated by responding fire personnel, and then transported by ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend for treatment of serious injuries.

The Chevrolet's driver, KYLE T. STATON, age 22, from Prineville, was also seriously injured and transported to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. Safety restraint use is pending confirmation.

MORKERT was cited by OSP for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants - Drugs, Reckless Driving, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. He was also driving while his license is suspended and additional charges may be pending.

OSP troopers from the Bend Area Command office and Madras work site responded to the scene and are continuing the investigation. Trooper Jason Hansen is the lead investigator.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Bend Fire Department, Redmond Fire & Rescue, and ODOT. The northbound lanes were closed about two hours with traffic re-routed into the southbound lanes.


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