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Fatal Traffic Crash - Interstate 84 east of La Grande
09/09/2008
Sergeant Larry Graves
Oregon State Police - La Grande
Office: (541) 963-7175 ext. 4611

Oregon State Police is continuing the investigation into an early morning crash Tuesday on Interstate 84 about twenty-five miles east of La Grande after the driver was found away from the crash scene and is being treated at a local area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
 
According to OSP Sergeant Larry Graves, on September 9, 2008 at approximately 3:12 a.m. a 1994 Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicle was westbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 275 when it drifted onto the right shoulder. The vehicle over-corrected and came back onto the freeway lanes before traveling off the right shoulder again. The vehicle rolled several times into a field and came to rest about 200 feet off the freeway on the driver's side.
 
Arriving emergency responders found a lone victim deceased inside identified as RICHARD MICHAEL WAGNER, age 22, from La Grande. WAGNER was seated in the right front passenger seat and was using safety restraints.
 
OSP troopers tentatively identified a possible driver and were attempting to locate this person when at 10:36 a.m. an ODOT supervisor driving about six miles west of the crash scene spotted a male sitting on the freeway shoulder. Unaware if this was the driver, the ODOT supervisor stopped and was backing up to see if the man needed help when the man got up and walked into a nearby field toward a residence in the 59000 block of Pierce Road.
 
OSP troopers responded to the area and made contact with the man identified as MICHAEL SUITTER, age 19, from La Grande. SUITTER is the person believed to be the Jeep's driver involved in the fatal crash. He had minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande for treatment.
 
OSP troopers, working in conjunction with the Union County District Attorney's Office, are continuing the investigation.
 
La Grande Rural Fire Department, La Grande Fire ambulance, and ODOT assisted at the scene.