A Portland couple returning home from a camping trip to Yachats didn’t get too far down the road Friday before their return trip was crunched – by a semi bound for Toledo.
Witnesses say the couple’s car, with their dog in the back, was headed eastbound on Highway 20. They passed the first turn off to Toledo and was approaching the second road that connects to Highway 229 when something went terribly wrong
The driver of the car told officers that she saw the semi ahead of her swing over to the north as if to turn onto the Siletz Highway going north. So she continued in her right lane. But suddenly the semi’s cab swung back to the right in what was obviously an attempt by the driver to make a very sharp right turn. The driver got boxed in real quick and her car was partially run over by the truck.
The driver’s companion and their dog both got out of the wreck okay, but the driver needed some extra help to get out of the driver’s seat which was damaged by the impact. But once everyone was out it was determined that no one was seriously hurt. The driver of the truck was uninjured.
When an Oregon State Police trooper arrived he made a quick assessment of the situation and ruled that the truck driver attempted to make what was an impossible right turn off of Highway 20 onto 229 south along the east side of the Dairy Queen. And for that he was cited. The driver was from Myrtle Creek so he may not have been familiar with that stretch of Highway 20.
Truck drivers often go by what their “on the road” GPS systems tell them. Another common GPS “Ooops” area is in Toledo at First and Butler Bridge Road. Truckers will go straight across the tracks and get caught in the downtown with no way out except by tow truck.
The good news is that the couple in the car was not injured. Either was their dog. Witnesses, Toledo Firefighters and Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies helped the couple transfer their stuff from their car into the back of a Sheriff’s pickup. The deputy gave them a courtesy ride to a rental car agency in Newport to finish their journey home. The trucker’s insurance company will no doubt be covering that expense. And of course the couple probably get another car from the trucker’s insurance company as well.