Oregon State Police are continuing the investigation into this morning’s fatal vehicle crash on Highway 126 near Green Hill Rd, just west of Eugene.
A 2000 Ford Focus traveling eastbound on HWY 126 truck a deer in the roadway. After impact the deer went airborne and into the path of a westbound delivery truck operated by Jesse BASTIEN, age 37, of Eugene.
The deer struck the truck windshield directly in front of BASTIEN and entered the passenger compartment, striking him. BASTIEN was able to drive the truck to the shoulder of the road. But that was all. His life was over.
Passing motorists noted BASTIEN was not conscious or breathing and began CPR. He was transported to Sacred Heart River Bend Hospital for neck and head trauma. After arriving at the hospital, BASTIEN was declared deceased.
OR 126W (Florence-Eugene Hwy.) is now open between Greenhill Rd. and Fisher Rd. west of Eugene after a fatal crash earlier today.
As OSP reported, the crash involved two vehicles hitting a deer. ODOT statistics indicate between 2004 and 2013 there have been more than 9,800 reported wildlife-involved collisions in Oregon, resulting in 29 fatalities and 3,848 injuries. During the same period in Lane County, there were 95 crashes involving wildlife, resulting in no fatalities and 34 people injured. In an effort to reduce those numbers, motorists are encouraged to:
* Be attentive at all times, but especially sunset to sunrise.
* When driving in areas that have special signs indicating the possible presence of animals/wildlife, please use extra caution because these signs are posted for a reason.
* Be extra careful in areas where there is a lot of vegetation next to the road or while going around curves. Wildlife near the road may not be visible.
* Remember that the presence of any type of animal/wildlife could also mean that others are nearby.