LA PINE, OR – A man was seriously injured Thursday morning, July 22, when he was involved in a truck accident on a highway in Deschutes County, Oregon. The truck accident occurred when a northbound SUV crossed into the southbound lanes of Highway 97 in La Pine, OR. The accident area is about 109 miles southeast of Eugene, OR in the central south section of the state, about 191 miles south of Portland, OR and about 107 miles north of Klamath Falls, OR.
At around 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning 60 year old Ross Mann of Eatonville, Washington was driving a 1980 International semi tractor trailer south on Highway 97 in Deschutes County, near the city of La Pine. The semi truck was towing a trailer carrying a load of steel.
At the same time 43 year old Daniel Gage of Bend, OR was driving a 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV in the northbound lanes of Highway 97 in the same area of Deschutes County. Just after Mr. Gage passed First Street he began to drift into the northbound lanes of the highway near Reed Road directly into the path of the southbound semi trailer truck driven by Mr. Mann.
The truck driver saw the oncoming SUV and moved to the right to avoid a collision. However the first axle on the rear of the trailer collided with the driver’s side of the Suzuki SUV. The SUV suffered extensive damage to its front section in the truck accident and the driver was trapped inside the crushed vehicle.
La Pine firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the scene of the truck accident. The rescue workers had to use the Jaws of Life to cut through the roof of the Suzuki so that EMTs could reach the trapped driver. Once Mr. Gage was extricated he was treated and stabilized at the scene before being taken by an AirLink medical helicopter to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, OR. He sustained serious injuries and was listed in critical condition Thursday evening.
The truck driver, Mr. Mann, was not injured in the truck accident. His semi trailer was able to remain upright after the collision but the trailer section was damaged in the truck accident. The cargo of steel reportedly shifted during the incident but did not fall from the trailer.
Officers with the Oregon Department of Transportation were at the scene to control traffic around the truck accident site. Highway traffic was diverted into one lane of traffic while emergency personnel worked at the scene. The lane reduction would last for about an hour and backed up traffic.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department and Oregon State Police are investigating the truck accident. They have not determined why Mr. Gage crossed into oncoming traffic. They do not believe drugs or alcohol was a factor in the collision. Weather was also not a factor.
No charges have been brought at this time and the truck accident remains under investigation.
Truck Accidents 360 is a truck accident attorney directory that also reports on up to date truck accidents across the United States. Since trucking laws are governed by hundreds of regulations, it is important to consult with truck accident lawyers who know the trucking laws for each state. Contact an expert Oregon truck accident lawyer for a free consultation.