A milk truck driver from Idaho was stabbed several times Monday along Interstate 84 in Eastern Oregon by the driver of a stolen car who rammed the rig's diesel tanks, attacked the trucker in his cab and was arrested at the scene, Oregon State Police reported.
Shortly after noon,OSP received a report of a stabbing along Interstate 84 eastbound near milepost 358.
A commercial truck pulling two tanker trailers containing milk, driven by Charles VanZante, 63, of Jerome, Idaho, was heading east on the freeway about 15 miles west of Ontario when, unprovoked, a Buick Lacrosse displaying Washington license plates driven by a man began ramming the truck's diesel tanks, troopers said.
VanZante pulled the truck and trailers to the side of the road and stopped, troopers said.
The Buick's driver then stopped the car against the side of the truck, got out and entered the truck, where he stabbed VanZante multiple times, they said.
The attacker, identified Tuesday as Dustin Leroy Rotter, 28, fled up a hill south of the scene, then returned to the truck and briefly engaged in a second struggle with the driver, OSP said. Rotter's last known address is in Modesto, California, he added.
Rotter soon was surrounded by several citizens outside the truck and convinced to stay as OSP troopers began arriving at the scene and took the suspect into custody at gunpoint.
An OSP lieutenant and trooper initiated first aid on VanZante until relieved by medical responders.
The trucker was flown by air ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise with injuries that troopers said were determined to be non-life threatening. A knife was recovered at the scene, troopers said.
The suspect was lodged in the Malheur County Jail on charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person and second-degree criminal mischief. The car was confirmed stolen out of Pasco, Washington in a reported Sunday carjacking, troopers said.
OSP was assisted by Malheur County Sheriff's Office, Baker County Sheriff's Office, ODOT, Treasure Valley paramedics and Huntington ambulance.