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Truck Driver Cited After Fatigue-Related Crash - Highway 31 / Highway 97 Junction

September 9, 2013

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

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

A commercial truck driver was cited following an early Monday morning traffic crash in which he fell asleep and crashed off the highway at the intersection of Highway 31 and Highway 97 south of LaPine. An unknown amount of paint spilled in the trailer and HazMat personnel are on scene assisting with off-loading the paint cargo before the overturned truck and trailer are removed.

According to Senior Trooper Jason Hansen, on September 9, 2013 at approximately 5:03 a.m., a 2013 Mack truck pulling two trailers driven by DENNIS C. CHAFFIN, age 54, from Chilcoot, California, was westbound on Highway 31 when he reportedly fell asleep as he approached the Highway 97 junction where there are two yellow traffic signs and a flashing yellow light warning drivers to stop ahead. The truck and trailers traveled off the north shoulder on Highway 31 where the driver awoke and over-corrected as he tried to steer back onto the road. The truck and trailers overturned and slid through the intersection where the truck crashed into an ODOT sign before coming to rest.

CHAFFIN was using safety restraints and reported he was not injured. LaPine Rural Fire Protection District EMS personnel checked him at the scene and he declined to go to a hospital for a medical evaluation. He was cited for Careless Driving and Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices.

The trailers' cargo included buckets of paint and paint thinner. Several buckets and containers spilled open in the trailers. SMAF Environmental HazMat personnel responded to clean up and assist with off-loading the cargo. Cleanup efforts are expected to last several hours.

Oregon State Police troopers from the Bend Area Command office were assisted at the scene Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, LaPine Rural Fire Protection District, SMAF Environmental, and ODOT.


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