Troutdale family involved in rollover wreck on Paulina Highway
A Troutdale family of five sustained minor injuries in a rollover wreck involving a truck and trailer on Paulina Highway Friday night.
According to authorities, Crook County deputies responded to the single-vehicle accident near milepost 46 shortly before 9 p.m. Upon arrival deputies found a Ford crew cab truck and attached enclosed trailer overturned and blocking two-thirds of the highway.
A subsequent investigation at the scene found that the Ford truck, driven by 44-year-old Jasper Phillips was traveling east when the truck and trailer traveled gradually across the highway and made contact with the guardrail on the westbound shoulder. The truck and trailer continued to travel along the guardrail, and after reaching the end of it, the trailer began to slide further off of the road.
The truck was then able to pull the trailer out of the ditch, and the truck and trailer traveled across the highway and made contact with the ditch on the eastbound side of the road. This, and the fishtailing action the truck and trailer were experiencing at that time, caused the truck and trailer to overturn and come to rest on their roofs, still attached to each other.
Phillips, his wife, and four children were all in the truck at the time of the crash. All occupants of the truck were wearing safety belts and escaped the crash with minor cuts and bruises. Fatigue is believed to be a factor contributing to the crash, and no enforcement action was taken in this case.
Paulina Highway was closed at milepost 46 was closed down to less than one full lane for a little more than three hours authorities stated, in part due to the issue of being unable to get appropriate tow equipment to the remote scene.
Upon learning of the lack of towing resources available at that time, local rancher Phil Hartzell contacted deputies on scene and volunteered to remove the truck and trailer from the highway. Hartzell used a piece of heavy equipment to quickly get both the truck and trailer back onto their wheels and then removed them both from the highway to an adjacent field.
The Crook County Sheriff's Office made a point to publicly thank Hartzell for making it possible to reopen Paulina Highway to traffic.