PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Alcohol and speed were factors in a pair of injury crashes late Saturday and early Sunday in Crook County, sheriff's deputies said.
Around 11:15 p.m. Saturday, sheriff's deputies and Crook County Fire and Rescue responded to a reported single-vehicle injury crash on Highway 126 near Steffey Lane, about halfway between Prineville and Redmond, said Sgt. James Savage.
They arrived to find a 1995 Honda Civic upside-down off the south side of the highway, into a fence, Savage said. The driver, Nathaniel L. Schouten, 55, of Glide, Oregon, was being treated for injuries by a passer-by.
Savage said deputies learned that Schouten was heading east on the highway toward Prineville when he lost control and his car left the road, taking out several hundred feet of fence.
Medics took Schouten to St. Charles Family Care for treatment of minor injuries, and he later was cited for driving with a suspended license and careless driving, Savage said. The case will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for review of possible DUII charges, he added.
Less than three hours later, around 2:10 a.m., sheriff's deputies, medics and Oregon State Police responded a two-vehicle injury crash on Davis Loop, south of Prineville, near milepost 1, Savage said. Initial reports were that one of the vehicles was fully engulfed and burning into a juniper tree.
Arriving deputies found a 2003 Nissan passenger car with severe damage blocking the southbound lane and a 2014 Subaru Crosstrek SUV off the road, crashed into a juniper tree and engulfed in flames, Savage said.
Deputies were able to knock the fire down enough with fire extinguishers to confirm no one was in the vehicle.
The Nissan's driver, Jesse Snyder, 28, of Prineville, was injured in the crash and was taken by medics to St. Charles Family Care. The Subaru's driver, Jose Nunez, and passenger Carissa Griffin, both 21 and of Prineville, were unhurt and were able to escape the Subaru before it became engulfed in flames, Savage said.
Deputies determined that Snyder was driving the Nissan southbound at a high rate of speed when he lost control and it began to spin. Savage said the Subaru was following the Nissan and came upon a rise in the roadway, striking the Nissan as it spun out of control. The Subaru then left the road, struck the juniper tree and caught on fire.
The case is still under investigation, Savage said, and will be forwarded to the DA's office to consider charges against Snyder of DUII and reckless driving.