Driver improves after Hwy. 97 crash N. of La Pine

Bend man seriously injured as pickup, semi collide

La PINE, Ore. - A hospitalized Bend man improved to serious condition Wednesday, a day after his pickup truck crossed the center line and collided nearly head-on with a southbound semi truck on Highway 97 north of La Pine.

The crash - one of several in the area Tuesday - shut the highway for 3 1/2 hours and led to detours until early afternoon, Oregon State Police said.

The collision occurred shortly before 9 a.m. near milepost 160, about eight miles north of La Pine and north of La Pine State Rec Road, troopers said.

William Good, 31, of Bend, was at the wheel of a northbound Dodge Dakota pickup that crashed into a southbound semi hauling lumber, driven by Juan Razo-Noriega, 34, of Bend.

The crash pinned Good in the wreckage, and firefighters removed him and had him ready for transport within 20 minutes. He was flown by Air Link helicopter to St. Charles Bend, where he improved from critical to serious condition Wednesday.

The semi left the road and jackknifed into the trees, losing part of its load, firefighters said. Razo-Noriega was able to get out on his own and did not report any injuries.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts, troopers said.

Southbound traffic was detoured onto Vandevert Road, while northbound traffic diverted onto Huntington Road.  ODOT officials said around 10 a.m. that the closure and detours likely would be in place for another two hours, and word came around 1:30 p.m. that the road had reopened in both directions.

OSP troopers from the Bend Area Command office were assisted at the scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, LaPine Rural Fire Protection District and ODOT.

On a day plagued with a rash of crashes -- including two apparent non-injury rollovers on Hwy. 20 near Suttle Lake -- La Pine firefighters also responded to another Tuesday afternoon, a two-vehicle collision at Third Street and Huntington Road.

La Pine Fire District officials said a four-door car and SUV collided at the intersection, causing the SUV to overturn and seriously damaging both vehicles.

Two women drivers, each alone in their vehicles, were removed, treated and taken to St. Charles Bend in stable condition, said Fire Chief Mike Supkis.

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