Prineville man injured in UTV crash
Prineville man Joe Beers was seriously injured in a rollover UTV crash Saturday afternoon.
Crook County Sheriff's Office deputies and emergency personnel from Crook County Fire and Rescue were dispatched to Northwest McKay Creek Road near the intersection of Gerke Road around 2:30 p.m., following a report of the accident at a private ranch.
Beers, the 29-year-old sole occupant of the UTV, had reportedly suffered a severe head injury. Deputies arrived on scene and during a subsequent investigation learned that Beers was an employee at the ranch and had failed to check in that morning. Ranch personnel began searching the area and located the crash, which had occurred several hours earlier. Beers was unable to summon help.
Authorities learned that Beers was traveling in a side-by-side UTV on an unimproved dirt road and failed to negotiate a curve. He traveled about five feet down an embankment and rolled the UTV in the bottom of the dry creek bed. He was not wearing a helmet or safety belt at the time of the crash.
Beers was transported by the Crook County Fire and Rescue ambulance to St. Charles Hospital in Prineville with serious injuries, and was then transferred from Prineville by helicopter to St. Charles Hospital in Bend.
According to a public fundraiser established on Facebook by Michael Jones, Beers suffered "a punctured skull and brain, broken neck and punctured lung." Sunday afternoon, Jones said that he had "made it out of his first surgery OK," but medical personnel were having a hard time keeping him stable enough for a second surgery.
More than $8,000 of the $20,000 goal had been raised by press deadline.
The investigation of the crash is ongoing.
The Crook County Sheriff's Office stressed to the public that using available safety equipment can significantly reduce injuries in the event of a crash.