Three injured when car goes off cliff into Molalla River
A 21-year-old driver from Newberg and his two passengers were taken to area hospitals, one in critical condition, after their Honda Civic drove off a cliff and rolled down a 40-foot drop and landed on the edge of the Molalla River Thursday evening.
The driver of a Honda Civic and two passengers were taken to area hospitals Thursday, one in critical condition, their car drove off a cliff along and rolled down a 40-foot drop before coming to rest near the edge of the Molalla River, according to a report from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies responded at approximately 5 p.m. to a report of a collision near Kegger Rock in rural Clackamas County, south of Molalla near Dickie Prairie.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Juan Manuel Mauleon-Rosario, 21, of Newberg. He was transported to an area hospital by ambulance with unknown injuries.
The two passengers were taken by ambulance to a nearby staging area where they were each put on board Life Flight helicopters and flown to area hospitals.
One passenger was unconscious and was considered to be in critical condition. The second passenger was semi-conscious when he was transported, but his condition was unknown.
The crash is still under investigation. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor, according to the Sheriff's initial report.
Information provided to 911 dispatchers prompted a response from the Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium, which included the Clackamas County Marine Unit and Dive Team, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, American Medial Response, and the Clackamas Fired Department.
In addition, the Molalla Police Department, Molalla Fire Department, Oregon State Police, Search and Rescue Coordinators from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and two Life Flight helicopters responded to the location.
Investigators learned that there were two vehicles traveling south together on the Molalla Forest Road and that the car in back swerved in an attempt to avoid a collision with the lead car.
The cars collided and the car in back, identified as a Honda Civic, drove off the edge of a cliff. There was an approximate 40-foot drop towards the Molalla River, and the car appears to have rolled over before coming to rest at the edge of the water.
One of the occupants from the lead car attempted to call 911, but could not get through because of poor reception in the area.
He was able to flag down a passing car and got a ride to the Glen Avon Bridge where there is a "911 only" phone available.