Speed, alcohol factor into wreck
Alcohol played a part in a Nov. 9 single-car accident in the 29000 block of S. Dryland Road, south of Heintz Road in Canby that left a car partially submerged in a pond.
At 3:20 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, a Clackamas County Deputy was flagged down by a man who was yelling that there was "a crash at the pond."
The deputy drove another 50 yards north and saw a black car against a tree in the middle of a duck pond.
According to police, there was debris everywhere and the water was still rippling from the impact. The deputy had missed the crash by seconds.
Skid marks, later measured at 93 feet long, were visible on the roadway, from the top of the hill on the north side of the road leading across the road and off the roadway. A trail of broken trees led to the partially submerged vehicle.
Investigators would later determine that the car had entered a slide, traveled into the oncoming lane and left the road, knocking over trees and going airborne for approximately 20 feet before coming to rest in the pond.
The deputy made his way down an embankment to the vehicle. A debris field of car parts and golf clubs ranged 20 yards back to the roadway.
The driver of the car, 44-year-old Eric John Loechle, was injured and slumped to the side of the car, a 2018 Tesla, which had come to rest on a dead tree trunk. The Tesla's front end was partially submerged in approximately 4 feet of water. An ejected golf bag floated nearby.
The deputy cut away an airbag to assess the driver and vehicle interior. Loechle was breathing as the passenger side floorboard was filling with water.
Shortly after, the Loechle regained consciousness and interacted with the deputy.
A few minutes later, Canby Fire District personnel were on hand to cut away the driver's side door to extract the driver. Loechle was taken to an area hospital by Life Flight with significant injuries, including multiple fractures.
According to police, speed and alcohol are considered factors in the crash. The driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) was reportedly later measured at .174 percent; motorists will fail a DUII field test if their BAC reading is 0.08 percent or higher. The case will be referred to the Clackamas County DA's office for consideration of criminal charges.
Loechle was driving alone and there was no other property damaged in the accident.