BEND, Ore. – Police cited an 89-year old Gilchrist man Wednesday afternoon for driving with a suspended license and recklessly endangering another person after his pickup swerved, crossed the center line and slammed head-on into a semi-truck pulling an empty trailer south of Bend on Highway 97. The elderly man was trapped inside his vehicle, extricated, then transported to the hospital with reportedly serious injuries.
According to Deschutes County Sheriff's Sgt. Bryan Husband, deputies, Sunriver and La Pine Fire Department paramedics and fire fighters, and Oregon Department of Transportation personnel were dispatched to the scene of the accident near milepost 157 of Highway 97 about 3:30 p.m., April 29.
89-year old Adrien Lovely of Gilchrist was trapped inside his 1996 Ford F-150 pickup, and fire personnel used the jaws of life to extricate him. He was then transported by ground ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend for treatment of injuries that Sgt. Husband described as serious.
Witnesses told deputies that Lovely had been swerving in his own lane before he completely crossed into the oncoming lane and struck a 1990 Kenworth truck driven by 33-year old Paul Kalina of Sweet Home, Oregon. The pickup continued to crash against the unloaded trailer pulled behind the semi-truck, then left the highway on the west side and crashd down a steep embankment, Husband said.
Kalina was uninjured and able to drive his vehicle, which only received moderate damage, away from the scene, the news release stated. Both men were wearing seat belts, and the pickup's air bag deployd in the collision.
Crash investigators have yet to determine the cause of the crash, but do not believe alcohol was involved. The investigation is continuing.