***Update*** Knife River Construction Worker Dies after being Seriously Injured When Struck By Vehicle on Interstate 5
Oregon State Police - 06/14/17
Ronald Ernest DAVIS, age 57, of Powell Butte died in an area hospital as a result of injuries sustained when his construction vehicle was struck by a box truck driven by Colin Michael COOK, age 27 of Fairview. COOK remains in custody in Marion County Correctional Facility. The investigation is ongoing.
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The driver of the box truck, Colin Michael COOK, age 27, of Fairview, was arrested for fail to perform duties of a driver/injury, assault II, reckless driving and reckless endangering. COOK is in custody and will be lodged in Marion County Correctional Facility.
The construction workers have been identified as Antonio Manuel BAHENA, age 20, of Troutdale, and Ronald Ernest DAVIS, age 57, of Powell Butte. Both workers continue to receive treatment at local area hospitals. Please respect their privacy as they recover from injuries sustained in this morning's crash.
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Ronald Ernest Davis, 57, of Powell Butte has died from injuries he sustained when his construction vehicle was hit on Interstate 5.
The crash happened on the northbound side, just north of the Donald/Aurora exit, around 3 a.m. on June 6.
Colin Micheal Cook is accused of crashing into the construction crew's vehicle, injuring Davis as well as another worker, 20-year-old Antonio Manuel Bahena of Troutdale.
Oregon State Police say Colin Michael Cook was driving a white box truck northbound when he struck a Knife River construction car.
Cook was arrested several hours later at his home on charges of failure to perform duties of a driver, assault, reckless driving and reckless endangering.
According to court documents obtained by KATU News, Cook says he fell asleep at the wheel before the crash. He said he knew he crashed into a trailer, but didn't stop or notify police. He said he made one more delivery in his box truck, and then went home to sleep.
His girlfriend read a news story about the crash and showed it to him prior to his arrest.
Knife River by the Numbers
- Construction Materials and Contracting Company
- Top 10 U.S. Aggregate Producer
- 1.1 Billion Tons of Aggregate Reserves
- 4,800 Employees
- 19 States
- $1.7 Billion to $1.9 Billion in Revenue Forecast for 2015
A 27-year-old Fairview man was arrested Tuesday afternoon after police say he hit two construction workers on Interstate 5 earlier in the day and fled the scene.
The crash was reported on I-5 northbound just north of the Donald/Aurora exit.
Oregon State Police say Colin Michael Cook was driving a white box truck northbound when he struck a Knife River construction car. Two workers who were inside of the car at the time were injured. Both were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Troopers say Cook fled the scene after the crash, but was arrested several hours later on charges of failure to perform duties of a driver, assault, reckless driving and reckless endangering. He'll be booked at the Marion County Correctional Facility.
Antonio Manuel Bahena of Troutdale, and Ronald Ernest Davis of Powell Butte were the workers injured in the crash.
Tuesday morning's crash comes just two weeks after three workers were hit by a suspected drunken driver in Happy Valley. Two of them were injured and one of them was killed. Pablo Dominguez was identified as the man who died.
Domingez's family held his funeral last week. He was a husband and father of five. His family have kept a memorial inside their home since the accident. They are not ready to speak to the media, but their family will be forever changed by a work zone crash.
Bill Griffin was one of the workers injured in that Happy Valley crash. His reaction to Tuesday's I-5 crash: "It's a shame, it really is."
Griffin suffered injuries to the left side of his body and he cannot walk while he recovers. He says anyone who works on the roads will have a close call with a passing car.
"People just need to slow down, pay attention," Griffin said. "When you're in a work zone -- man, treat it like a school zone. There is always a chance that something is going to fall out into the road from construction, or a person is going to step out to get away from something. ... You can't come flying through a work zone going 45 mph and be able to hit your brakes without hitting something."
The statistics speak for themselves. On average, five people die in work zone crashes each year in Oregon. There are 18 deadly or serious crashes in a work zone each year. There are nearly 500 work zone crashes each year.
Oregon Department of Transportation spokesperson Don Hamilton says there are some concrete reasons why drivers are supposed to slow down in a work zone.
- Traffic patterns may change
- Rough road surfaces are possible
- There may be uneven pavement
- Heavy equipment may block vision
Speed and driver inattention are two of the major factors in work zone crashes.
While there were five workers injured in just the past weeks, the majority of injuries or deaths happen to a driver or passenger.
Hamilton says ODOT will enforce work zone speed with photo radar at some point this summer. The exact location has not yet been determined.
A driver took off after crashing into a construction vehicle early Tuesday morning on Interstate 5 northbound just north of the Donald/Aurora exit, injuring two workers.
Oregon State Police officials said both construction workers are being treated at local hospitals; one is listed in critical condition.
According to police, the workers from Knife River Oregon were cleaning up construction barrels after a project at milepost 280 (about four miles south of Wilsonville) at about 3:15 a.m. when a white box van drove through the area.
Both workers were inside a pickup truck at the time of the crash.
State police officials said they found the suspect vehicle farther north on the interstate. They have contacted the driver in the hit-and-run and are considering charges in the case.
Emergency responders closed I-5 down to one northbound lane for several hours to investigate the crash. Drivers had to deal with extensive delays on I-5 with backups as far south as Woodburn.
Drivers could take Highway 99E or the Wilsonville-Hubbard Highway as Timesaver Traffic alternate routes.
Oregon State Police asks anyone who may have helpful information on the crash to call (503) 375-3555.
Below is a statement from Brian Gray, president of Knife River's Oregon operations:
This is a terrible situation that did not have to happen. Our team members were working in the closed lane, on the other side of traffic barrels when their vehicle was hit. We ask two things: Please keep our injured team members and their families in your thoughts, and please pay extra attention and slow down in work zones so something like this never happens again.
Police said they stopped another driver who was speeding past traffic at about 100 mph, weaving in and out of traffic and using the road's shoulder.
State Police Lt. Charpentier said they took that driver into custody on reckless driving charges.
That driver was not involved in the initial hit-and-run investigation.