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OSP Patrol Cars Struck by Out-of-Control Drivers in Icy Columbia River Gorge
12/14/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

During a 48-hour period in the Columbia River Gorge, two OSP patrol cars were struck by out-of-control vehicles during icy conditions on Interstate 84.  During both incidents the troopers were out of their patrol car and were not injured.  Both incidents are reminders to be watchful for emergency responders and roadside assistance vehicle, as well as all other motorists, while traveling at any time.
 
Photographs from first incident:
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-12/1002/121209.i84mp46.ospcrash.3.JPG
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-12/1002/121209.i84mp46.ospcrash.2.JPG
 
On December 12, 2009 at approximately 9:30 a.m. an OSP recruit trooper was assisting several vehicles that slid off westbound Interstate 84 near milepost 46 due to icy road conditions. After parking the patrol car with emergency lights activated on the shoulder of the highway, the recruit trooper was out helping the other vehicles that had previously slid off of the road.
 

While standing outside of the patrol car, the operator of a 1990 Ford pickup lost control and slid into the rear end of the OSP car.
 
Neither driver of passenger of the pickup were injured in the crash. Both were using seatbelts.
 
The recruit trooper, who is assigned to The Dalles Area Command office, was not injured.

No citations were issued as a result of the crash.
 
In an incident Saturday night in the Albany area an OSP sergeant was handling a traffic crash and witnessed an out-of-control vehicle crash into the back of a tow truck. The OSP sergeant was parked a couple hundred feet back from the tow truck whose operator was standing outside hooking up a car involved in a previous crash. The southbound car spun out-of-control and went in to a slide across the freeway, striking the rear of the tow truck. The tow operator was able to jump out of the way before the car struck the tow truck.
 
Photographs from second incident:
 
Photo/sound file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-12/1002/121409.i84mp77.ospcrash.1.JPG
Photo/sound file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-12/1002/121409.i84mp77.ospcrash.2.JPG
Photo/sound file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-12/1002/121409.i84mp77.ospcrash.4.JPG
 
The second OSP-involved incident happened Monday morning on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 between Rowena and The Dalles which was closed over an hour following multiple traffic crashes on the icy six mile stretch of freeway. While responding to one of the crashes an unoccupied Oregon State Police (OSP) patrol car was struck by an out-of-control car as the trooper was checking on a previous crash.
 
According to OSP Lieutenant Pat Ashmore, on December 14, 2009 starting at approximately 6:00 a.m. an estimated ten reports of traffic crashes began to come into OSP Northern Command Center dispatch and 9-1-1 in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 between milepost 76 and 82. The six mile section of freeway was closed until about 7:45 a.m. to allow emergency responders time to clear the crashes and ODOT to sand the traffic lanes. Two people were transported for treatment of minor injuries from two crash scenes.
 
OSP troopers responded to the crashes, one of which occurred near milepost 77 where the trooper arrived and parked her patrol car on the right shoulder with emergency lights activated. The trooper was out of the patrol car approaching the previous crash scene when she heard an approaching out-of-control vehicle sliding and then hit the driver side of the patrol car.

The trooper ran up an embankment to avoid possibly being hit and then checked on the driver after that vehicle came to a stop. The driver was uninjured. No citations were issued as a result of this crash.
 
This was the second OSP patrol car to be struck on Interstate 84 as troopers responded to ice-related crashes.
 
OSP and ODOT continue to urge motorists to plan for the worst and not be fooled by recent improvement in weather conditions. "There are still several areas of the state with freezing temperatures and icy roads. Be prepared for winter driving conditions in the coming weeks, slow down while keeping an eye out for emergency responders and be ready to handle potential dangerous situations by thinking several seconds ahead so you can react without losing control," said Ashmore.
 
Pay attention to media reports throughout the day while traveling, and before you go check Oregon's road conditions and weather forecasts at www.TripCheck.com, or call 5-1-1 for continuously updated travel information.