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Trooper's Car Struck at Icy Crash Scene east of La Grande
11/12/2010
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Icy conditions were a contributing factor in at least four traffic crashes Friday morning along Interstate 84 in the Ladd Canyon area east of La Grande. In one of the crashes, an unoccupied Oregon State Police (OSP) patrol car and a La Grande Rural Fire District emergency response vehicle were struck.
 
According to OSP Senior Trooper Kyle Hove, on November 12, 2010 at approximately 8:20 a.m. OSP and La Grande area fire and ambulance personnel responded to a report of a crash westbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 270. Emergency responders arrived at the scene located at the top of a westbound on ramp and parked their vehicles to check for any injuries and start the investigation.
 
An OSP trooper parked his patrol car off the travel lanes between the westbound traffic lane and freeway onramp. While the trooper was out of the patrol car talking to a driver of an involved passenger car, the driver of a westbound pickup towing a trailer lost control. The trailer overturned onto its side, separated from the pickup and slid into the driver side of the OSP patrol car. The pickup struck the left front corner of a La Grande Rural Fire District vehicle and rolled onto its side.
 
The pickup's driver, WILLIAM S. HARDRATH, age 24, from Baker City, was not injured. He was cited for Careless Driving.
 
The driver of the vehicle involved in the first crash was transported by ambulance to a local hospital with minor injuries.
 
No emergency responders on scene were injured.
 
The westbound lanes were restricted to one lane of travel for about one hour during the investigations and scene clearance.  OSP troopers were assisted by La Grande Fire Department, La Grande Rural Fire District, and ODOT.
 
Winter weather conditions can make driving dangerous for anyone. OSP and ODOT urge travelers to:
  • Be prepared and watchful for changing highway conditions.
  • Inspect your vehicle before you get on the road. Make sure your wipers, lights, battery, tires and brakes are working properly.
  • Allow more time to reach your destination. In severe weather, closures and crashes can cause long delays.
  • Drive cautiously and wear your safety belt.
 
Additional tips and references to helpful resources are available on our website.