Crater Lake, Ore. – Freezing rain and icy road conditions were contributing factors Friday in several crashes that occurred north of Crater Lake National Park. Oregon State Police (OSP) urges drivers to be extremely cautious while driving in areas with potential challenging weather and road conditions, and to find safe locations to stop when chaining up their vehicle.
According to OSP Senior Trooper Joe Smith, on December 20, 2013 at approximately 11:00 a.m. the first of several traffic crashes were reported in the vicinity of Highway 230, Highway 138, and Highway 62.
At approximately 11:00 a.m., a commercial truck pulling two trailers loaded with lumber was having problems traveling on Highway 138 near milepost 15 so the driver stopped to put on chains. The location chosen partially blocked the westbound lane across from where two eastbound commercial trucks were also chaining up. Another commercial truck pulling two trailers loaded with pears came upon the scene and tried to go between the stopped vehicles being chained up. The rear trailer began to slide sideways and crashed into the side of one of the stopped trucks, nearly hitting the driver who jumped on the stopped truck’s running board. Two trailers were extensively damaged and their loads scattered on the highway.
At approximately 11:15 a.m., a commercial truck pulling a semi-trailer stopped to chain up on Highway 230 near milepost 15 where a passing motorist stopped to inform the truck driver of the above-mentioned crash. A westbound Toyota pickup driven by MICHELLE ZABLAN, age 22, from Buena Park, California, came around a curve and saw the stopped truck and semi-trailer. ZABLAN lost control and crashed into the rear of the stopped semi-trailer. ZABLAN and two adult passengers were transported by ground ambulance to Providence Medical Center in Medford with non-life threatening injuries. They were all using safety restraints.
A third crash of note occurred approximately 2:00 p.m. near the junction of Highway 62 and Highway 230. A passenger vehicle was eastbound, lost control and traveled across the highway where it went over an embankment. The vehicle came to rest about 50 feet down the embankment against several trees that stopped the vehicle before continuing down into a river. The operator and passenger were taken by a passing motorist to a nearby store and both were uninjured.
OSP and ODOT urge travelers to “Know Before You Go”, monitoring media reports for weather forecasts and keeping up-to-date on road conditions at www.TripCheck.com. In addition to road and weather conditions, winter driving safety information and tips are also there to help keep you informed and safe on our roads during holiday and winter season travels.
Photographs – Oregon State Police