WALLOWA, Ore. - A motorcyclist was killed in northeast Oregon Saturday night when he struck a deer, was thrown to the roadway and then struck by a car driven by a Terrebonne man, Oregon State Police reported.
According to OSP Sgt. Kyle Hove, around 7:20 p.m., four motorcycles were headed west on Highway 82 near milepost 40, about five miles west of Wallowa, negotiating a curve when the lead motorcycle with two occupants struck a deer in the road. Both riders were thrown from the motorcycle, Hove said.
Moments after the motorcycle's operator, Tony Sumpter, 62, of Union, landed in the eastbound lane, a westbound vehicle driven by Edward Carlin Jr., 64, from Terrebonne, tried to avoid a collision by veering left around the crash scene. But Hove said the vehicle struck Sumpter, lying in the eastbound lane.
Sumpter was pronounced dead at the scene. His girlfriend/passenger on the motorcycle, Nichole Tinsley, age not available, from Spokane, Washington, declined medical treatment at the scene. Both were wearing protective helmets.
OSP troopers from the La Grande Area Command are investigating the crash. Trooper Robert Routt is the lead investigator.
OSP was assisted at the scene by Wallowa County Sheriff's Department, Wallowa Volunteer Fire Department and ODOT. The highway was closed intermittently during a three-hour period.
OSP and ODOT reminds all drivers of the possible dangers associated with animals on or near our highways.
The following driving tips are offered as it relates to animal encounters on or near the highway:
*Be attentive at all times, especially sunset to sunrise for any potential hazard on or near the highway.
*When driving in areas that have special signs indicating the possible presence of animals/wildlife, use extra caution because these signs are posted for a reason.
*Remember that the presence of any type of animal/wildlife could also mean that others are nearby.
*When you see an animal/wildlife near or on the roadway, reduce your speed and try to stay in your lane. Many serious crashes are the result of drivers swerving to avoid wildlife or other obstacles and they crash into another vehicle or lose control of their own vehicle.
*When driving a passenger vehicle, always wear your safety belt, because any collision could result in serious injuries.