Wintry road conditions cause five-vehicle accident

By Observer Upload May 02, 2013 08:39 am

By Kelly Ducote/The Observer

A 70-year-old woman was injured and 10 cattle were killed in a five-vehicle accident on Highway 204 two miles west of Tollgate in Umatilla County on Tuesday morning.

The crash occurred near milepost 18 due to snow and icy road conditions, according to Oregon State Police.

At about 9 a.m., a semi-trailer driven by Robin Kohls, 57, of Kooskia, Idaho, heading eastbound on Highway 204 slid out and became stuck in the eastbound lane. An eastbound Dodge pickup driven by Richard Arbogast, 44, of Elgin stopped in the westbound lane after the driver saw the stuck semi-trailer. A westbound semi-trailer driven by Karl Furgerson, 42, of La Grande hit the Dodge pickup in the westbound lane. Diane Weatherspoon, 70, of Elgin was driving westbound in a 2010 Dodge van and was able to come to a stop before the final vehicle, a semi-trailer carrying cattle driven by Grant Raymond, 46, of Enterprise, crashed into Weatherspoon. The semi-trailer carrying cattle came to a rest on its side.

“Some of the vehicles lost traction in the middle of the road and were unable to get moving,” said Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Dan Chichester.

At  least 10 cattle in Raymond’s trailer were killed from injuries suffered in the crash, according to OSP. Weatherspoon was transported by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Pendleton for minor injuries.

Chichester said it is not uncommon for weather systems to come through in late spring and cause road problems.

“Drivers have to be prepared for any condition,” he said.