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French Prarie region experiences two serious crashes inside 24 hours over MLK weekend

MARION COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - First responders attend to a single-vehicle roll over took place on McKay Road Sunday afternoon.Two crashes occurred less than 24 hours apart in the French Prairie region that has received considerable dialogue this past year regarding road safety.

Marion County Sheriff's Office reported that one crash occurred just after 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the 8000 block of McKay Road with a single vehicle overturning. The second took place at around 8:18 a.m. Monday on Ehlen Road NE near Donald Road. Ehlen Road remained closed through Monday afternoon while crews work to clear the roadway following this morning's head-on collision. 

The Ehlen head-on collision involved a commercial semi-tractor and trailer hauling potato chips and a 2016 Jeep Cherokee. The semi overturned and blocked the road.

MCSO Sgt. Jeremy Landers said the Jeep's driver had to be extricated from the vehicle by emergency crews and was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The semi driver was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Witnesses told the sheriff's office that the semi, which was east bound, was not driving within its lane prior to the crash. It's driver, Andrew Addo, 37, of Tacoma, was cited and released at the hospital with charges that include reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person and fourth-degree assault.

The Sunday afternoon crash involved a 2019 Nissan. First responders found the vehicle's occupant trapped inside after it rolled over. The driver, Dana Witt, 61, of Newberg was extricated from the vehicle and transported by Life Flight to a Portland hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.MARION COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - A semi-truck pulling a trailer full of potato chips crashed head on with a Jeer Cherokee Monday morning, overturning and blocking Ehlen Road in the process.

Landers noted that the roadway was closed to traffic for approximately 1 ½ hours during the investigation of Sunday's collision. Investigators believe alcohol use was a contributing factor to the single vehicle roll over.

Witt was cited and released at the hospital for DUII. 

In addition to the injuries and road closures, the accidents required resources from multiple public safety agencies that worked with MCSO on the scenes, including St. Paul Fire District, Aurora Fire District, Woodburn Ambulance, Life Flight, Marion County Public Works, Linn County Sheriff's Office, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Keizer Police Department, METCOM 911, and the Willamette Valley Communications Center.

Aurora Fire Lt. Bill Hansen said when METCOM 911 issued the report of a semi-truck as part of the wreck and a vehicle with a person trapped inside, that sparked the implementation of more resources.

"Good samaritans stopped and attempted to assist the trapped driver in the car, but were unable to get her out of the vehicle," Hansen noted. "Aurora Fire crews arrived and found a semi truck and trailer on its side blocking the entire road, the driver was out of his truck and treated for moderate injuries and transported by ambulance to an area hospital.  

"Fire crews also discovered a car partially crushed under the trailer in the ditch," he added. "The driver was the only person in the vehicle and could not get herself out of the vehicle."

Hansen said the woman was coherent, and a paramedic was able to work on her injuries as crews worked to extract her form the vehicle. He said firefighters from Aurora and St. Paul were able to safely remove her from the vehicle and get her into the ambulance after working on it for 23 minutes.

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