Klamath Falls, Ore. – Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into the cause of an early Thursday morning single vehicle fatal traffic crash along Highway 97 near Chiloquin in Klamath County. The crash resulted in the death of an elderly Fresno, California man whose name is released in this update.
According to Sergeant Cliff Barden, on January 16, 2014 at approximately 8:47 a.m., OSP troopers and local emergency responders were dispatched to a report of an overturned vehicle down an embankment along Highway 97 near milepost 245. Upon arrival, the driver was pronounced deceased.
Preliminary investigation indicates there are no known witnesses to the crash that occurred after 7:00 a.m. this morning. A passing motorist spotted the overturned van off the highway and called 9-1-1. For an unknown reason, the vehicle traveled at an angle off the highway, down a 20 – 30 foot embankment, collided with a tree and overturned.
The victim, ALBERT ALLEN RATLIFF, age 73, from Fresno, California, was using safety restraints.
OSP troopers from the Klamath Falls Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Chiloquin Fire Department and ODOT assisted at the scene.
The highway was restricted to one lane of travel for over 3 hours until investigators cleared the scene.