Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 31 south of Silver Lake
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into an early Sunday morning single vehicle traffic crash along Highway 31 about four miles south of the town of Silver Lake that resulted in the death of one person and injuries to a second person. Troopers are looking into unconfirmed information that a third person may have been in the vehicle driving, and alcohol is is being investigated as a possible contributing factor in this crash.
On September 2, 2012 at approximately 12:50 a.m. a 1997 Ford F150 pickup was traveling north on Highway 31 near milepost 51 when it traveled off the roadway into the ditch and rolled onto its top coming to rest partially on the highway.
Passenger ROBERT EDWARD SANCHEZ BUSCH, age 22, from Gresham, Oregon was pronounced deceased at the scene. A second male occupant, SEAN TAYLOR BERGLUND, age 22, from Gresham, was transported by Silver Lake EMS ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend with non-life threatening injuries.
Information from the surviving occupant indicates a third person was in the vehicle but that has not been confirmed.
OSP troopers were assisted at the scene by Lake County Sheriff's Office and ODOT.
Any witnesses to the crash or who may have arrived on scene before emergency responders is asked to contact Oregon State Police Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888. Senior Trooper Nick Hagedorn is the lead investigator.
The nationwide impaired driving campaign involving high-visibility enforcement backed by increased awareness efforts to curb impaired driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend is continuing through 11:59 p.m., September 3. Oregon troopers, deputies and city police officers will continue to aggressively look for impaired drivers during the crackdown and arrest anyone caught driving impaired. Drivers will also have reminders around the state during the holiday weekend with the Oregon Department of Transportation's variable message signs reading, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."
Young adults are often those most at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fifty-four percent of young (18 to 34 years old) drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2010 in the U.S. were alcohol-impaired.
According to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a brief look at Labor Day holiday traffic crash statistics in Oregon since 1970 indicates:
* Fatalities average seven each year in Oregon over this holiday weekend.
* Since record-keeping began, more than 280 people have died during this holiday period, making it the second deadliest major holiday of the year.
* Alcohol is a contributing factor in over half of the traffic fatal crashes.
* The highest number of traffic fatalities occurred in 1978 when 17 people died.
* Oregon has never experienced a fatal-free Labor Day holiday weekend. Single fatality reporting periods occurred in 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2010.
Everyone is urged to play an important part in keeping our highways and city streets safe by immediately reporting aggressive, dangerous, and intoxicated drivers to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865) or call 9-1-1.