Hwy. 20 power pole crash injures one
Mar 08,2008 00:00 by Cheryl McDermott

BEND, Ore. -- Deputies believe alcohol may have contributed to a collision on Highway 20 about nine miles northwest of Bend, Oregon, Friday night. The driver, who was later hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, crossed the oncoming lane of traffic, crashed through a power pole and struck a tree, causing a six-hour power outage, deputies reported.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies, Oregon State Police (OSP), and Sisters Fire paramedics responded to the crash near Fryrear Road about 9:20 p.m. after receiving multiple calls, Sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Cima said. The first call was from a nearby resident who reported seeing a vehicle with its hazard lights activated, and a power loss to their home. The second call, Cima said, reported the crash and a power pole lying across Highway 20.

The driver of the 2004 Chevy Cavalier involved in the single vehicle crash was identified as Michelle Dawn Walters, 37, of Bend. Walters was transported by ground ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

Her passenger, 47-year old Jason Lowell Bidiman of Bend, was not injured, the sergeant said.

According to a news release, both lanes of traffic were closed to traffic for six hours until the downed power pole and lines were removed from the highway.

No citations have yet been issued, but Cima said that based on the investigation so far, alcohol appears to have been a factor in the cause of the crash.