Preliminary information indicates there were no traffic fatalities in Oregon during the 30-hour New Year's holiday reporting period (6 p.m., Dec. 31, 2013 through 11:59 p.m. Jan. 1, 2014), according to a press release from the Oregon State Police.
If this statistic holds true, this will be the third time since 1970 for no traffic fatalities during this major holiday period.
According to Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), since 1970 there were no fatalities reported in 2003 (30-hour period) and 2010 (78-hour period).
Reporting periods may be different lengths depending on what day of the week the holiday falls on. The previous two New Year's holiday reporting periods recorded a total of 22 traffic fatalities (12 deaths in 2013 and 10 deaths in 2012). Last year's reported fatalities included 9 deaths from the December fatal tour bus crash east of Pendleton.
Oregon State Police (OSP) and local law enforcement agencies participated in a national enforcement effort since Dec. 13 to discourage impaired driving and prevent alcohol-related incidents along our roads. During the 30-hour reporting period for the New Year's holiday OSP troopers reported 29 DUII arrests, of which twenty-two DUII arrests were on Jan. 1. OSP offices reporting two or more DUII arrests were:
* Springfield Area Command office - 6 DUII arrests
* Portland Area Command office - 4 DUII arrests
* Albany Area Command office - 3 DUII arrests
* Klamath Falls Area Command office - 3 DUII arrests
* Coos Bay Area Command office - 2 DUII arrests
* Grants Pass Work Site office - 2 DUII arrests
* Pendleton Area Command office - 2 DUII arrests
Last year, OSP troopers during a 102-hour reporting period recorded 78 DUII arrests of which thirty-one occurred on January 1, 2013.
In addition to enhanced DUII enforcement efforts, OSP troopers during traffic stops arrested 13 people on outstanding misdemeanor and felony arrest warrants. Examples of other OSP-involved incidents reported during the holiday period included:
* On Dec. 31 at 6:40 p.m., an OSP trooper was dispatched Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend to contact a 21-year old male who reportedly was being treated for minor injuries after being pushed out of a moving vehicle along Interstate 5 northbound near milepost 187.
The subject said he was involved in an altercation inside the vehicle with two friends when he demanded to be let out of the vehicle. As the driver slowed down on the freeway shoulder at approximately 35 mph, the subject opened the door and rolled out onto the ground. The investigation is continuing.
* On Dec. 31 at 8:34 p.m., an OSP trooper responded to a welfare check of a man trying to flag down passing traffic on Highway 26 west of Manning in Washington County. The trooper found the 30-year-old man near milepost 33 and was told that the man planned to kill himself with a shotgun but changed his mind and was trying to get help.
The man was taken into custody for a mental evaluation, but before being taken to a Portland-area hospital he led the trooper to where he left the shotgun along a nearby road.
* On Dec. 31 at 10:26 p.m., an OSP trooper stopped a sport utility vehicle for a traffic violation along River Road in the Eugene area. The male driver stated he had no identification and verbally identified himself.
The trooper detained him for failure to carry/present a driver's license and upon walking back to the patrol car, the subject fled on foot with 3 officers in pursuit. They overtook him about two blocks later and then deployed a Taser to take him into custody.
Further investigation led to positively identifying the man as JEREMY Ray Carlson, 26, from Eugene, who was wanted on a warrant out of Linn County for contempt of court.
A handgun was also found concealed in the center console area along with a small amount of suspected heroin. Carlson was lodged in the Lane County Jail on the outstanding warrant and local charges of Escape in the Third Degree, DUII, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Furnishing False Information to a Police Officer.
He was also cited for several traffic violations including Driving While Suspended.
* On Dec. 31 at 11:20 p.m., an OSP sergeant patrolling on Highway 212 in the Clackamas area saw a 2005 BMW passenger car driving aggressively eastbound. The OSP sergeant turned to keep the vehicle in sight but lost visual in heavy fog conditions until finding it crashed into a power pole and unoccupied near SE 168th Avenue on the north side of the highway.
The vehicle was confirmed stolen. With the assistance of Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and a Gladstone police K-9 team, two people were found in the area during the next couple hours muddy with cuts on their legs sustained while fleeing the scene. After providing false names, both were positively identified as wanted on outstanding arrest warrants.
The car's driver, Kristopher Ian Simpson, 40, from Medford, was lodged in Clackamas County Jail on Jackson County warrant charging fail to appear - UUMV, parole violation, and several local charges including reckless driving, unauthorized use of vehicle, misdemeanor attempt to elude on foot, unlawful possession of a controlled substance - heroin, misdemeanor hit and run, and identity theft. Passenger Jamie Lea Desavedo, 32, from Ashland, was lodged in jail for an outstanding Jackson County warrant for parole violation.
* On Jan. 1 at 5:56 a.m., an OSP trooper responded to a single vehicle rollover crash on Highway 205 near milepost 34 in Harney County. Driver Arly G. Williams, 19, from Burns, reportedly fell asleep and traveled off the highway where the 1991 Ford Bronco rolled multiple times.
Williams was not using safety restraints and was ejected with serious injuries. Passenger Tanner Arnold, 18, from Hines, was using safety restraints and received minor injuries. Williams was taken by ground ambulance to Harney District Hospital and then transferred by air ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend for further treatment. Investigation is continuing.
* On Jan. 1 at 7:35 p.m., OSP and local emergency responders were dispatched to a single vehicle crash in the 200 block of Placer Road near Wolf Creek in Josephine County.
A 1992 Saturn passenger car left the roadway and rolled over. The car's driver, Jefferey Swisher, 57, from Wolf Creek, was extricated by firefighters and transported by air ambulance to Rogue Valley Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. Preliminary investigation confirmed alcohol was a contributing factor and Swisher was cited for DUII.