Bend police swamped with fireworks complaints

So priorities shift; only four DUII arrests over weekend in city

Busy weekend tests police

SALEM, Ore. - Preliminary information indicates four people died in four separate traffic crashes in Oregon during the 78-hour 2014 Fourth of July holiday period between 6:00 p.m., July 3, and 11:59 p.m., July 6.

The following is a brief overview of the three reported fatal traffic crashes:

* On July 4, at approximately 8:31 p.m., an off-road motorcycle operated by a 21-year old Reedsport man crashed in the Loon Lake area off Highway 38 in Douglas County. The victim was not wearing a protective helmet. Douglas County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency.

* On July 5, at approximately 10:03 p.m., a pickup driven by a 48-year old Madras man rolled off NE Clark Drive near NE Dogwood Lane north of Madras. The driver was ejected and transported to an area hospital where he died later that night from injuries sustained in the crash. Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency and reports alcohol appears to be a contributing factor.

* On July 6,  at approximately 12:55 a.m., a passenger car driven by a 16-year old St. Helens girl was eastbound on Highway 30 near milepost 53 west of Rainier. For an unconfirmed reason, the car traveled off the highway and rolled numerous times before coming to rest on its top. The female driver was pronounced deceased at the scene and her 16-year old male passenger had minor injuries. Both were using safety restraints. Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency.

* On July 6,  at approximately 4:36 p.m., a 92-year old female from Hines suffered fatal injuries in a single vehicle rollover crash on North Steens Mountain Loop Road in Harney County. The driver was using safety restraints. Stephanie Cagle was driving when her vehicle left the shoulder and rolled three times. She first taken to Harney District Hospital in Burns, then flown by AirLink to St. Charles Bend, where she died early Monday of her injuries. Harney County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency.

During the 2013 Fourth of July 102-hour holiday period, four people died in four separate traffic crashes. The deadliest Fourth of July holiday period occurred in 1980 when there were 19 reported deaths during a 78-hour period. Since 1970, a total of 305 people have died in traffic crashes in Oregon during the Fourth of July holiday reporting periods.

OSP troopers reported 50 DUII arrests statewide during this year's holiday period. Last year, troopers reported 60 DUII arrests.

On the High Desert, Redmond police reported five DUII arrests, Sunriver police had two while Madras and Prineville had none.

Bend police reported four four DUII arrests. They told NewsChannel 21 they were well-staffed and well-prepared, but they also received over 100 calls on fireworks complaints.

"With the amount of calls for service that we've handled on the weekend, our officers were required those calls that were coming in, rather than being proactive at times with some of the DUI investigations," said Lt. Nick Parker.

Parker said DUII investigations are time-consuming for officers, and on a busy weekend like this, with high fire danger, they have to adjust their priorities.

Prior to each holiday period, OSP encourages citizens to report possible DUII drivers they spot on the road so troopers or other agency police officers can get into position to stop the vehicle and determine if the driver is impaired.

Of this year's 50 reported DUII arrests, eight were the direct results of citizen driving complaint reports to OSP dispatch centers helping troopers get in position to stop the vehicle. Six DUII arrests were connected to injury and non-injury traffic crashes investigated by troopers.

The following OSP offices reported three or more DUII arrests during the holiday period:

* Springfield Area Command office - 11 DUII arrests
* Bend Area Command office - 5 DUII arrests
* The Dalles Area Command office - 5 DUII arrests
* Portland Area Command office - 4 DUII arrests
* North Plains Work Site office - 4 DUII arrests
* Coos Bay Area Command office - 3 DUII arrests

OSP troopers on patrol and fish & wildlife troopers in field also reported arresting 25 people during the holiday period who were wanted on outstanding arrest warrants.

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