A Vancouver, Washington man died Friday night from injuries sustained in a fall after he stopped to help at the scene of an injury crash involving an intoxicated driver on I-84 east of Warrendale. Brian Allen Bernier, 37, reportedly jumped over a guardrail to avoid an approaching pickup, and fell about 50 feet to the ground below. Oregon State Police (OSP) are continuing the investigation and seeking information on the driver of the pickup vehicle that failed to stop at the scene.
About 9:45 p.m. December 29, OSP Northern Command Center dispatch received a report of a single vehicle crash with airbag deployment eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 38. OSP Senior Trooper Pat Huskey responded from Portland and arrived at 10:15 p.m.
Trooper Huskey spoke with a woman and another citizen who had stopped to help at the scene of the crash. Huskey was told by the woman that her husband was missing after he jumped over the inside shoulder guardrail to avoid an approaching vehicle while he was attempting to help the injured driver involved in the crash. At the accident location, Interstate 84 east and westbound lanes are separated only by a gap of about three feet as the freeway crosses over a creek.
The trooper shined his flashlight over the edge of the guardrail and spotted the man about 50 feet below, on the ground next to a creek. Police requested medical personnel and called for additional troopers. A Federal Express driver who had also stopped to assist at the scene was asked by Trooper Huskey to remain with the injured driver involved in the crash, who displayed obvious signs of intoxication and was still inside his car that was blocking the left eastbound lane.
Trooper Huskey grabbed his medical first aid bag from the patrol car, went down the west side steep embankment and waded through knee-deep water to get to the other side where the man was lying. After initially assessing the man's possible injuries, he began resuscitation attempts and was subsequently joined by Senior Trooper Ken Andrus. After approximately 15 minutes of performing CPR, medical personnel from AMR arrived and confirmed the man was deceased.
Troopers drove Bernier’s wife and daughter, who were with him when he stopped to offer aid at the scene of the crash, to their Vancouver home where they were met by relatives.
The driver of the 2006 Nissan Sentra involved in the original crash is identified as Macon Lee Davis, age 32, who has a last known address in northwest Portland. Davis was transported by ambulance to Mt. Hood Medical Center in Gresham for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. An OSP trooper responded to the hospital as part of the follow-up investigation and subsequently cited Davis for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), Driving While Suspended, and Possession of an Open Container of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle.
Oregon State Police are looking for information regarding the driver and vehicle that were approaching the crash scene at the time the victim jumped over the guardrail. The vehicle is described as a brown Dodge pickup displaying unknown Washington license plate. The operator was described only as a white male adult in his 30's. Anyone with information is asked to contact OSP at 800-452-7888.