Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image
News
Post Labor Day Holiday Fatality and Enforcement Statistics
09/02/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Oregon's past two major holiday weekend fatality reduction statistics went into reverse during the 78-hour 2008 Labor Day Holiday extended weekend as the lastest information indicates 11 people were killed in nine separate traffic crashes between 6:00 p.m., August 29th, and 11:59 p.m., September 1st. On average, 7 people have died over this holiday weekend each year since 1970. Six people died during this holiday weekend last year. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers also arrested more DUII drivers during the holiday weekend while wrapping up the national enforcement crackdown on intoxicated drivers.
 
"This year's fatality figure is the seventh highest since 1970 and a somber reminder that rising fuel prices and lower traveler estimates don't always result in less traffic fatalities. Traffic safety still always falls first in the hands of each driver, making sound travel plans and driving decisions," said Oregon State Police Superintendent Timothy McLain, whose agency joined thousands of law enforcement agencies around the nation working hard to reduce traffic crashes from happening. The highest fatality count occurred when 17 people died in 1978.  Eleven people also died in Oregon holiday fatal crashes in 1997.
 
According to known police reports from Oregon law enforcement agencies each fatal crash involved a single vehicle, including two crashes in which two people were killed. Two others died in traffic crashes on Friday, August 29th, prior to the official reporting period's 6:00 p.m. start.
 
The following is a brief review of this year's fatality crashes:
  • On Friday, August 29th, at approximately 8:10 p.m. a 39-year old female died when her sport utility vehicle left the highway in the 35000 block of South Sawtell Road in the Molalla area and struck a power pole. The victim was using safety restraints and alcohol is a possible contributing factor. Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency.
  • On Saturday, August 30th, at approximately 12:40 a.m. two unidentified men died when their sport utility vehicle flipped off the west end of the St. Johns Bridge in Portland. Safety restraint use information is not available and the cause remains under investigation. Portland Police Bureau is the lead investigating agency.
  • On Saturday, August 30th, at approximately 2:58 a.m. a 59-year old man and 60-year old woman died when the car crashed into a light pole at the intersection of SE 10th Street and SE Walnut Street in Hillsboro. Safety restraint use information is not available and the cause is under investigation. The Washington County interagency crash investigation team is leading the investigation.
  • On Saturday, August 30th, at approximately 2:05 p.m. a 37-year old Caldwell, Idaho man died after losing control of his sport utility vehicle northbound on Highway 395 near milepost 48 and rolled multiple times. The victim was using safety restraints and the cause remains under investigation. Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency.
  • On Saturday, August 30th, at approximately 11:57 p.m. a 45-year old Lakeside man died when he crashed while operating a motorcycle in the 500 block of N. 8th Street in Lakeside.  Coos County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency.
  • On Sunday, August 31st, at approximately 6:20 a.m. a 23-year old Gresham man died after losing control of his pickup eastbound on Highway 26 near milepost 113 and rolled numerous times. The victim was using safety restraints and the cause remains under investigation. Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency.
  • On the morning of Sunday, August 31st, a 9-year old Tigard girl died when the pickup she was riding in rolled down a steep embankment off the Izee - Paulina Highway near milepost 38.  Grant County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency. 
  • On Sunday, August 31st, at approximately 10:24 a.m. a 48-year old Grand Ronde man died after losing control of his car and flipping several times on the Highway 18 business loop between Willamina and Sheridan. The victim was not using safety restraints, and alcohol and speed are possible contributing factors. Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency.
  • On Sunday, August 31st, at approximately 3:15 p.m. a 64-year old San Rafael, California man died after driving off Highway 101 near milepost 206 and colliding with a tree. The victim was not using safety restraints and the cause remains under investigation. Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency.
 
Two other fatal traffic crashes happened prior to the official Friday 6:00 p.m. starting period. Marion County Sheriff's Office investigated a fatal motorcycle crash on August 29th at approximately 2:00 p.m. that resulted in the death of a 60-year old Lake Oswego man on Breitenbush Road near Detroit Lake. In the second fatal crash investigated by Oregon State Police, a 56-year old Waldport man died over the weekend following an August 29th two-vehicle crash at approximately 12 noon on Highway 101 near milepost 152.
 
According to initial investigative information, alcohol is a possible contributing factor in two of the seven fatal crashes. Based upon known statistics gathered by ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), since 1985 about 53% of Labor Day holiday weekend fatalities were alcohol involved.
 
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers reported 87 DUII arrests between August 29 and September 1. This is an increase from the 2007 and 2006 Labor Day holiday weekends when OSP troopers arrested 78 intoxicated drivers each year. The highest number of trooper DUII arrests over the holiday weekend was made by the OSP Bend Area Command office with ten arrests, followed by the Salem Area Command office with 7. Three other OSP offices (Coos Bay, Central Point, and Grants Pass) reported six DUII arrests.
 
The Labor Day holiday weekend fell on the end of a national intensive enforcement crackdown on impaired driving. "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest" ran August 15th through September 1st. Preliminary OSP statistics indicate troopers arrested 208 intoxicated drivers during this crackdown.
 
In addition to increased DUII enforcement efforts, OSP troopers worked with several county and city agencies targeting hazardous traffic violations. During the holiday weekend, preliminary enforcement statistics for OSP troopers show over 1500 speed-related citations, nearly 100 safety restraint violation citations, and more than 440 disabled motorists assisted including 323 along interstate freeways.