Three lanes of Highway 97 were blocked for about two hours Thursday evening after two semi-trucks crashed when one driver missed a turn-off into a rest stop and attempted to make a u-turn on the highway, said authorities.
Shortly before 7 p.m. November 30, deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and an Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper responded to the scene of the accident near the Peter Skene Ogden Wayside rest stop on Highway 97, milepost 112.
When deputies arrived, they found that two semi-trucks had collided and that both southbound lanes, the highway median and the inside northbound lane of the highway were blocked, and that only the outside northbound lane was open for traffic.
Investigation revealed that Domingo Perez, a 43-year old from San Pedro, California was traveling north, and apparently missed the left turn into the rest stop. He pulled his truck over to the east shoulder, then attempted to make a u-turn in the highway.
As Perez pulled back onto the highway, he turned into the path of another northbound semi-truck driven by 72-year old Ray Sweat of White City, Oregon. Sweat was unable to avoid colliding with Perez and his semi-truck crashed into the side of the truck-trailer, said Lt. Deron McMaster.
Neither driver was injured during the collision, but Perez was cited for careless driving, added McMaster.
ODOT assisted with traffic control during the accident investigation and clean-up, and the highway was partially blocked for about two hours. According to the news release, Sweat’s truck was towed from the scene, but Perez was able to drive his truck following the accident.