MADRAS, Ore. - Icy roads delayed school for thousands of Central Oregon students Wednesday morning and triggered a string of crashes around the region, two that sent three people to the hospital, officials said.
Oregon State Police said Lanette L. Keller, 36, of Bend, was seriously injured when her pickup left Highway 197 south of Maupin around 7:45 a.m. She was trapped in her overturned pickup for about an hour before she could be removed and flown to St. Charles-Bend, where she was listed in fair condition Wednesday afternoon.
Troopers said the 2002 Ford pickup was heading north near milepost 40. When she pulled out to pass another vehicle, Keller lost control on black ice and the pickup slid toward the shoulder, rolling several times and tearing through a fence before coming to rest on its top.
Personnel from the Juniper Flat Fire Department and medics from South Wasco County Ambulance responded with OSP and ODOT. Keller, who was wearing her seat belt, was cut out of the wreckage and flown to the hospital.
Earlier in the morning, two California women were injured in the crash of their semi truck on Highway 97 about three miles north of Gilchrist, OSP said.
According to Senior Trooper Jason Hansen, the crash occurred around 4:25 a.m., as a 2012 Peterbilt truck pulling a semi-trailer loaded with irrigation pipe and equipment, being driven by Shelly L. Young, 59, of Marysville, California, was heading north on Highway 97 near milepost 180.
According to Young, the truck lost traction and she lost control as the truck and trailer traveled across the highway, where it overturned and came to rest on the west (southbound) shoulder.
ODOT and OSP arrived on the scene of the crash, which was initially reported as non-injury. However, Young and passenger/co-driver Susan G. Walker, 50, of Sacramento, were trapped inside the truck and injured.
Fire and medical personnel from the Crescent Rural Fire Protection District responded to the scene and extricated both occupants. They were taken by ambulance to St. Charles-Bend, where they were treated and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
ODOT provided traffic control as the highway remained open for traffic. A local tow company was coming to the scene to recover and remove the vehicles and load.
The icy roads prompted two-hour class delays Wednesday morning in the Jefferson County, Sisters and Culver school districts.
Sisters Christian Academy also was on a two-hour delay, as it follows the Sisters district's schedule.
Bend-La Pine schools were on normal schedules, although there were icy roads reported in the La Pine area and a non-injury truck rollover crash was reported east of Bend on Alfalfa Market Road.
A crash also was reported on state Hwy. 27 (the George Millican Road) about two miles south of Prineville shortly after 8 a.m.
Although temperatures had climbed back above freezing as the sun rose, another crash was reported before 9 a.m. about 10 miles north of La Pine.
Oregon State Police said two truck drivers and a passenger were unhurt Tuesday night in a pair of crashes in the same spot on icy Hwy. 58, about 10 miles west of Hwy. 97 in northern Klamath County.
The second driver lost control as he came upon the first crash scene. The two crashes blocked the highway for several hours, though ODOT kept at least one lane open during the clean-up and investigation.
With weather and road conditions changing quickly, OSP and ODOT urged travelers to be aware of the potential for ice and slick roads, and to slow down accordingly.
Track the latest road conditions on our TripCheck page.
On the good-news side of the ledger, Mt. Bachelor reports five inches of snow in 24 hours, the first snowfall in several weeks, for a West Village snow depth of 30 inches and 46 inches at mid-mountain.