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Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into the cause of a single vehicle injury traffic crash that occurred along Highway 22 about one mile north of Highway 18 in the Grand Ronde area. Two people were injured after their vehicle traveled off the highway, down an embankment and landed in a creek. Witnesses reported the highway was icy at the time.
At approximately 11:10 a.m. a 2004 Jeep Liberty driven by GERTRUDE DICKEY, age 57, from Willamina, was eastbound on Highway 22 near milepost 24 when it traveled off the highway about 30 feet down an embankment and struck a tree. The vehicle came to rest on its wheels in about 3 feet of water in Casper Creek.
A Polk County inmate work crew witnessed the crash. Inmates and supervising sheriff personnel went down the embankment and checked on the two occupants but were remove them or their dog due to force of the water and the fact the vehicle was stuck in the creek bed.
West Valley Fire Department responded to the scene and removed the driver and her brother/passenger MONTY E. DICKEY, age 67, also from Willamina, from the vehicle and brought them up to the roadway using a rope line gurney. Their labrador dog was not injured.
GERTRUDE DICKEY was transported by ambulance to Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville with minor injuries. MONTY DICKEY was taken to a landing site near Spirit Mountain Casino and then transported by REACH air ambulance to a Salem Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
OSP troopers from the McMinnville Area Command office are continuing the investigation as to the cause. Witnesses told troopers the road was icy at the time and that it appeared that the Dickey vehicle, the first in a line of cars, slid out of control on a shady curve and careened over the edge of the road and downhill into the still storm-swollen creek.
Polk County Sheriff‚s Office, Yamhill County Sheriff‚s Office, West Valley Fire Department and ODOT assisted at the scene. Highway 22 was closed for two hours at the scene during emergency response, rescue, and investigation.
The vehicle was removed from the creek. There was no indication of a fuel leak.