Culver resident improving after frightening crash

Jailed pickup driver familiar name from 2001 tragedy

CULVER, Ore. - A Culver man who was asleep when a pickup truck crashed into his home, trapping him beneath it and destroying the home, was in much-improved condition Sunday while the driver remained jailed, officials said.

The 2:27 a.m. Saturday crash into a home at 8238 SW Feather Drive in Culver initially left  victim Charles John Wilda Jr., 46, in critical condition at St. Charles-Bend, where he was flown by AirLink helicopter. But by Sunday afternoon, a nursing supervisor said he had improved to fair condition.

However, the crash left his home an apparent total loss and so unstable, it took Jefferson County Fire crews using airbags to shore it up about two hours to extricate Wilda.

The crash had left Wilda pinned in his bed, beneath the front of the pickup driven by Steven Dwayne Roe, 45, Adkins said.

Roe was arrested about two hours later and taken to the county jail in Madras, where he was held without bail pending arraignment Monday on charges of DUII, second-degree assault, reckless driving and second-degree criminal mischief.

A breath test taken from Roe four hours after the crash found a blood-alcohol content of .13 percent (Oregon's legal limit is .08), the sheriff said.

Roe apparently was driving west on Southwest Iris Lane when he passed out near the intersection with Feather Drive, ran the stop sign and crashed into the home, Adkins said.

Roe's name might be familiar to Central Oregonians beyond the tight-knit Culver community, for his ties to a tragic crash more than a decade ago.

In early December of 2001, Roe had been a volunteer firefighter for more than 10 years when he was on the first crew called to a car-train crash -- only to learn it had claimed the life of his wife, Sandy, and three of their four children, 15, 14 and 6. Only their 10-year-old boy survived.

Jefferson County Fire Chief Brian Huff said Sunday that Roe has not been with the fire district since that incident.

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