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Serious Injury Traffic Crash - Highway 20 near Nyssa in Malheur County

December 5, 2013

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

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

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into an early Thursday morning serious injury traffic crash that occurred on Highway 20 near Nyssa in Malheur County. Two people were taken to an Ontario-area hospital and the crash closed the highway for 3 hours.

According to Lieutenant Mark Duncan, on December 5, 2013 at approximately 5:45 a.m., a 2013 Freightliner truck pulling two trailers driven by JAMES M. STEPHENS, age 63, from Fruitland, Idaho, had been westbound on Highway just north of Columbia Avenue near milepost 265 when he noted a mechanical problem on one of the trailers. STEPHENS pulled to the right shoulder and tried to U-turn to return to a shop for repairs when a rear trailer tire reportedly became stuck on an Idaho Power guide wire. As the truck and trailers were stopped across the highway, a westbound 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by BETTY HINES, age 49, from Fruitland, traveling approximately 55 mph crashed into the side of the trailers.

HINES received serious but non-life threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario. She was using safety restraints and her car's airbags deployed.

STEPHENS was also transported by ambulance to the same hospital for examination of possible injury.

OSP troopers from the Ontario Area Command office are continuing the investigation. An enforcement decision is pending.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Malheur County Sheriff's Office, Treasure Valley Paramedics, Nyssa Fire Department, Nyssa Ambulance, ODOT, and Idaho Power. A tow company removed the stuck trailer from the guide wire line before the truck and trailers were driven from the scene and the highway was re-opened.


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