DALE - Alcohol may have been a factor in a crash involving a 61-year-old man from Alaska whose Mercedes struck a tree a mile south of Dale on Aug. 12.

A northbound 1978 Mercedes driven by Curtis Anderson of Anchorage, Alaska, struck a tree along the right side of the highway at about 8:45 p.m. that Tuesday. Anderson was tended by the Long Creek Volunteer Ambulance Crew and transported to Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day.

Anderson was cited for driving under the influence of intoxicants and open container of alcoholic beverage. According to the Grant County Sheriff's Department, Anderson's blood-alcohol level was .27, more than three times the legal limit in Oregon, which is .08.

The Oregon State Police report on the incident stated, "The driver was injured in the crash. A Grant County (deputy) arrived on scene before (the) subject was transported to John Day. ... (The) subject told (the deputy) he had been drinking beer since he left Reno earlier and had not stopped. He stated that he was intoxicated."

Investigating officer Todd McKinley, deputy with the Grant County Sheriff's Department, said Anderson reportedly was traveling from Reno, Nev., to Spokane, Wash., when the crash occurred. The car had no airbags, and it remained unclear whether Anderson, the sole occupant, was wearing a seatbelt.

Long Creek emergency responders answered a call from dispatchers at approximately 9 p.m. They stablized Anderson with the assistance of McKinley and motorists who stopped for the vehicle straddling the center line. On Aug. 13, Blue Mountain Hospital reported that Anderson was discharged in stable condition from the hospital that morning.

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