Young driver survives plunge from Ochoco Viewpoint

Taken to hospital for evaluation

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - (Update: More police details; driver taken to hospital; new photo)

A juvenile driver crashed through a stone wall of the Ochoco Viewpoint west of Prineville and his car tumbled down the steep, rocky embankment Friday afternoon, sending him to the hospital for evaluation and closing the highway below until the wreckage could be lifted off the hill by crane, police said.

The crash was reported shortly before 3 p.m. at the viewpoint just west of the O'Neil Highway on Highway 126, Prineville police Sgt. James Peterson said.

Officers and medics arrived to find a 2000 Mazda sedan overturned about 150 feet from the bottom of the viewpoint. near the walking trailhead. The male, in the car, was able to speak to officers, Peterson said.

Crook County Fire and Rescue responded and took the driver to St. Charles Prineville to be evaluated for "unknown injuries," Peterson said.

Crook County sheriff's deputies, ODOT and Oregon State Police responded and assisted with closing O'Neil Hwy, since the car was perched just above the roadway, causing a hazard.

A  towing company responded with a heavy -duty crane to safely lift and remove the Mazda from the hillside. The O'Neil Highway reopened around 4:30 p.m.

Peterson said the historic stone wall at the viewpoint was damaged as a result of the impact of the car. The Mazda was a total loss..

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to contact Officer Clayton Hagen at 541-447-4168 or send the department a message at

Prineville police earlier said the juvenile driver was alone in the vehicle at the time of the crash, which they said was "non-accidental."

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