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Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 97 north of Bend
Lieutenant Carl Rhodes
Oregon State Police - Bend
Office: (541) 388-6213

Photograph link valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
A Bend-area man died Thursday morning when the vehicle he was driving slid off Highway 97 about three miles north of Bend and rolled onto its top. The victim was not using safety restraints and was partially ejected. A passenger who was using safety restraints was not injured.
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Senior Trooper Terry Miller, on December 18, 2008 at approximately 8:30 a.m. a 1998 Dodge 2500 4x4 pickup driven by DAVID LAWRENCE BIRCHEM, age 32, from Bend, was northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 131 on the snow-covered roadway. The pickup slid off the east side of the highway and rolled onto its top.
BIRCHEM was not using safety restraints and was partially ejected. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Passenger JUSTIN M. MAYES, age 25, from Bend, was using safety restraints and was not injured.
OSP troopers from the Bend Area Command office are completing the investigation. Speed and slick road conditions were contributing factors.
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, ODOT and Bend Fire Department assisted at the scene.