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Work Zone Safety Reminders Following Traffic Crash in Southern Oregon
05/15/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police (OSP) cited a driver following an investigation into a four-vehicle minor injury crash Thursday afternoon in a highway construction work zone on Highway 140W in the Lake of the Woods Safety Corridor west of Klamath Falls. This crash is another reminder of the need to be attentive at all times when driving and in particular when driving through one of the many work zones on Oregon roads.
 
According to OSP Sergeant Bob Fenner, on May 14, 2009 at 1:26 p.m. three vehicles were stopped in the eastbound lane on Highway 140W near milepost 38 for a highway construction project where traffic was being controlled by a pilot vehicle. An eastbound Ford van driven by GARY THOMPSON, age not available, from Gold Hill, rear-ended the last of the three stopped vehicles causing a chain reaction crash.
 
Damage to three of the 4 vehicles led to their being towed from the scene. THOMPSON was cited by OSP for Careless Driving.
 
"Paying attention at all times, especially in transition zones approaching work zones, is very important. Those drivers not paying attention are the most common cause for crashes in work zones," said Fenner.
 
OSP troopers from the Klamath Falls Area Command office were assisted at the scene by Harriman Rural Fire Protection District and ODOT.
 
In an ODOT news release and safety event earlier this month, Oregonians were asked to remember there will of record levels of highway and bridge work as we approach the time of year when we are used to seeing orange signs, cones and barrels pop up along Oregon's roads. On Monday, May 11th, two other major crashes, one of which was a fatality, happened in Columbia Gorge highway work zones on Interstate 84.

 
Governor Kulongoski has proclaimed May as Transportation Safety month. Along with ODOT and OSP, Governor Kulongoski encourages Oregonians to do their part in keeping Oregon's roadways safe.

 
An average of 465 work zone crashes occurs each year. The majority of people injured or killed in these crashes are drivers, passengers or pedestrians, not workers. The single biggest factor in crashes is driver inattention; that's why orange cones, variable message signs and other tools are used to alert motorists. The other major contributing factor is speed, which is why work zones require lower speed limits.
 
Additional helpful information is available in this link to ODOT's 2009 Work Zone Safety Facts and Tips:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/docs/Work_zone_factssheetFinal.pdf.