Driver dies from injuries sustained in Hwy. 204 wreck

By Observer staff February 26, 2014 08:42 am
A 19-year-old died from injuries sustained in a wreck last week on Highway 204. (OSP photo)Oregon State Police was notified that Montana Rex Batterton, 19, of Weston, died Monday from injuries sustained last week in a traffic crash on Highway 204 in Umatilla County. Batterton had been transferred by air ambulance from Providence St. Mary's Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash., to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. OSP is continuing the investigation into Thursday night's two-vehicle serious injury traffic crash that occurred on Highway 204 about two miles east of Highway 11 in Umatilla County. 

Information indicates on February 20 at approximately 8:52 p.m. a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Harrell R. Phillips, 66, of Athena, was traveling westbound on Highway 204 near milepost 2 when it was involved in a near head-on crash with an eastbound 1998 Jeep Cherokee driven by Batterton.

Phillips, Batterton and an adult male passenger in the Chevrolet Silverado who was asleep at the time of the collision were all seriously injured. They were extricated by firefighters and transported by ambulance to Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash. Phillips and his passenger (name not available) were using safety restraints. Safety restraint use is pending further investigation for Batterton. 

OSP troopers from the Pendleton Area Command office are continuing the investigation into the cause. Initial roadway evidence places the impact in the left eastbound lane. Senior Trooper Michael Wolf is the lead investigator. 

OSP was assisted at the scene by Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, East Umatilla County RFPD, Pendleton Fire & Ambulance, and ODOT. The highway was closed for more than two hours.