MADRAS, Ore. - (Update: Deputies release name)
A shuttle service driver from Wamic was killed in a crash Thursday in the Gateway area north of Madras, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies said.
Deputies were dispatched around 12:15 p.m. to the reported crash in the area of North Adams Drive and Northeast Juniper Lane. They arrived to find one vehicle in a canal, rolled onto its top, and another off Juniper Lane and into a tree.
Deputies said both vehicles were being driven by employees from Affordable Shuttle Service based in Maupin. The company sent four workers in a van to the Warm Springs Boat Launch on the Deschutes River and they were shuttling three vehicles from there to the Trout Creek Boat Launch, also on the Deschutes.
The four workers were driving four vehicles east on Juniper Lane toward Gateway when the third vehicle in line left the road, crashed through a power pole and overturned in the canal.
The driver who died was identified Friday as Kenny Phillips, 44, of Wamic.
Deputies said gouges cut into the roadway indicate an empty drift boat trailer the driver was towing may have gone out of control.
The driver of the last (fourth) vehicle in lane saw the crash and swerved to the other side of the road, crashing on the north side of Juniper Lane. That driver had minor injuries and was treated by Jefferson County EMS on the scene.
Deputies said no drugs or alcohol were believed to be contributing factors in the crash, and both drivers were wearing their seat belts. Due to the damaged power pole, Jefferson County Public Works closed the roads at the intersection.
Deputies said the rural county road is a common route for shuttle drivers and river recreationists, as it is the most direct route to the river.
The sheriff’s office also was assisted by the Jefferson County Fire Department, Oregon State Police and Madras police.
Photos posted to Facebook by the sheriff’s office from the scene showed a vehicle that was overturned and a pickup truck off the road, as well as a damaged, leaning power pole.