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Preliminary Post-Christmas Holiday Period Statistics
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

 (Note: This reported fatality statistic may change if other information is reported later by Oregon law enforcement agencies. This year's Christmas Holiday reporting period started 6:00 p.m., December 23, and concluded at 11:59 p.m., December 26. This is the confirmed reported number at this time for the 78-hour holiday period.)

Preliminary information indicates 3 people died in three separate fatal traffic crashes on Oregon roads during the 78-hour Christmas Holiday period, the second of three special enforcement periods during December for law enforcement agencies nationwide. This was a 50 percent drop in comparison to last year's 102-hour Christmas Holiday period when six people died in 6 separate fatal traffic crashes.

The following is a brief review of the confirmed Oregon fatal traffic crashes:

* On the evening of December 23 an 84-year old Woodburn man died when his car collided with a sport utility vehicle at the intersection of Hardcastle Road and Highway 99E. The victim reportedly failed to stop for a red traffic stop light. Woodburn Police Department is conducting the investigation.
* On December 24 at 5:40 p.m. a 61-year old Gresham woman died when she was struck as she walked in the darkness into the westbound lane of Highway 224 in Barton. The victim reportedly was talking on her cellphone getting directions from another person when she was struck. Oregon State Police is conducting the investigation.
* On December 26 at 5:30 a.m. a 20-year old female died after she was ejected from a vehicle she was riding in during a single vehicle crash on the Broadway Bridge in Portland. The 20-year old male driver who received non-life threatening injuries is being charged with Manslaughter in the Second Degree, DUII, and Reckless Driving. A third occupant, a 17-year old female passener, was seriously injured and a fourth unidentified male passenger ran from the scene. Portland Police Bureau is conducting the investigation.

In addition to the fatal traffic crashes, OSP troopers responded to several Sunday afternoon crashes on Interstate freeways and secondary state highways that led to significant traffic congestion and delays. Several of these crashes will hopefully be a reminder to drivers to reduce their speeds and be prepared for cold weather driving conditions during the remainder of the holiday season and winter months. A few of these crashes included:

* A 12-vehicle minor injury crash at 2:00 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 north of the Linn / Marion County line. Drivers following too closely during heavy rain conditions were factors in this crash that closed all or part of the northbound lanes for two hours. (Photo provided with release)

* A 8-vehicle minor injury traffic crash at 3:43 p.m. on Highway 35 southbound near milepost 62. Icy roadway conditions and vehicles failing to comply with chain up restrictions during heavy show and wind were factors as multiple vehicles were losing traction. Two people outside their vehicles putting on chains were struck after another vehicle collided with their stopped vehicle. Highway 35 was closed about 3 hours due to this crash. (Photographs provided with release)

* Multiple crashes during the afternoon on Highway 97 between Bend and Gilchrist were the result of drivers not reducing speeds or not having their vehicles prepared to drive in winter conditions.

OSP Bend Sergeant Eric Brown urged drivers to be ready for similar travel challenges during the remainder of the holiday season and winter months. "Drivers going too fast, being ill prepared and having a false sense of security because of the type of vehicle one drives won't get you to your destination safely. Weather it is snow, ice or rain, drive alert and defensively, and know before you go what the conditions are so you can make sure you and your vehicle are ready for what you may be facing," said Brown.

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers reported 36 DUII arrests during the 78-hour holiday period as part of the nationwide crackdown on impaired driving, "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." The special enforcement effort involving OSP, County Sheriff's agencies and local police departments continues through the New Year's weekend. The 36 reported DUII arrests by OSP troopers was nearly half in comparison to last year's 60 DUII arrests during a 102-hour period. OSP offices reporting 3 or more DUII arrests were:

* Central Point Area Command (including Grants Pass worksite) – 6 DUII arrests
* Springfield Area Command (including Oakridge worksite) – 6 DUII arrests
* Portland Area Command (including Tualatin and Government Camp) – 5 DUII arrests
* Salem Area Command – 3 DUII arrests
* Pendleton Area Command (including Umatilla worksite) – 3 DUII arrests

Media Note: Arrest statistics for county and city agencies were not available. Any questions related to their statistics should be directed to those respective agencies.