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Fatal Traffic Crash - Interstate 84 west of Hermiston
04/22/2008
Sergeant Allan Muhs
Oregon State Police - Hermiston
Office: (541) 567-3215

Photograph link valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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A Kellogg, Idaho man who was a passenger died Monday afternoon is an unusual crash in which investigators believe he played a contributing role in the pickup losing control on Interstate 84 about four miles west of the Interstate 82 interchange.
 
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant Allan Muhs, on April 21, 2008 at approximately 3:00 p.m. a 2000 Ford Ranger pickup driven by JANIE LOWRAIN MICHAUD, age 45, from Kellogg, Idaho was eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 175 with her uncle, WALTER ALONZO ROSS, age 72, as a passenger. With the pickup in the left eastbound lane, ROSS reportedly was sleeping when he suddenly awoke and yelled the driver's name then grabbed the steering wheel causing the pickup to veer to the left onto the gravel median shoulder.
 
With his hands still on the steering wheel, he steered hard to the right causing the pickup to rotate as it moved back across both eastbound lanes. The pickup drove off the right shoulder, rolled over a fence and came to rest on its top.
 
ROSS was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was using safety restraints.
 
MICHAUD was using safety restraints and received minor injuries. She was transported by Boardman Fire and Rescue to Good Shepherd Medical Center for treatment.
 
OSP troopers from the Hermiston and Pendleton offices responded to investigate. Morrow County Sheriff's Office, Morrow County Road Department, and ODOT also assisted at the scene.