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Drowsy Driver Narrowly Misses Hitting OSP Patrol Car and Trooper on Traffic Stop west of The Dalles
September 24, 2012

Sergeant Julie Wilcox
Oregon State Police
(541) 296-9646

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A drowsy driver was cited Saturday morning when he crashed his vehicle after falling asleep at the wheel and narrowly missing an Oregon State Police (OSP) patrol vehicle and trooper on a traffic stop with a suspected DUII driver along Interstate 84 eastbound lanes two miles west of The Dalles.
 
On September 22, 2012 at approximately 9:25 a.m., Senior Trooper Thad Routson was on a traffic stop eastbound Interstate 84 near milepost 80 with the driver of a Toyota pickup for speeding. Routson was preparing to exit his OSP Dodge Charger patrol vehicle to conducted field sobriety tests on the pickup's driver when the driver of an eastbound 2000 Ford Focus fell asleep.
 
The Ford veered onto the right side freeway shoulder toward the two vehicles and struck a fog marker. The Ford narrowly missed the OSP patrol car, driving along its right side and partially on a rocky steep embankment also just missing the Toyota pickup. The Ford came to rest on a pile of rocks along the south side shoulder embankment with heavy front end damage.
 
Routson assisted the Ford's two occupants following the crash.  The driver, DENNIS BRENDEN, age 34, from Goldendale, Washington, and his female passenger were uninjured.  Routson cited BRENDEN for Careless Driving and No Operator's License.
 
Following the crash, Routson completed his investigation regarding the initial traffic stop and subsequently arrested Bryan Creasey, age 38, from Portland for DUII.
 
OSP was assisted at the crash scene by Wasco County Sheriff's Office.
 
OSP reminds drivers to watch for signs of drowsiness, including:
 
* Having problems focusing, blink frequently and/or have heavy eyelids.
* Drifting from you lane, swerve, tailgate and/or hit rumble strips.
* Having trouble remembering the last few miles driven.
* Missing exits or traffic signs.
* Having trouble keeping your head up.
* Yawing repeatedly.
* Rolling down the windows or turning up the radio to try to stay alert.
 
Get a good night's rest before you hit the road. But, if you find yourself getting sleepy while driving:
 
* Find a safe place to pull over, such as a rest area or parking lot, and take a break and/or get some rest.
* Have a licensed, sober, alert passenger take a turn driving.
 
For more tips on how to "drive alert, drive alive", visit www.drowsydriving.org.