Motorbiker latest victim of roadway accident

A local couple and their three children escaped serious injury on Sunday, Sept. 7, when a large rock fell on their Chevy Suburban. Scott Cooke and his wife, Valerie, along with their three children ages 9, 6 and 3, were westbound on Highway 26 in the Rock Creek area of the Picture Gorge when a large rock which police say was as big as a table and estimated to weigh in excess of 1,000 pounds rolled down the south hillside. Investigators reported Cooke had no chance to stop, and the vehicle struck the rock. The rock reportedly left gouges in the asphalt where it hit the road surface. Ambulances from Dayville, John Day and Monument were dispatched to the scene of the accident, which was investigated by the Oregon State Police with assistance from Grant County Sheriff's Deputies and John Day Police. Photo Grant County Sheriff's Department

DALE - Oregon State Police assisted by Grant County Sheriff's Department deputies investigated an injury traffic accident involving a 48-year-old La Grande woman. The crash occurred at about 4 p.m. on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1, on Highway 395 near milepost 63.

According to troopers, Sandra Louise Kassien was driving her 1988 Suzuki Intruder motorcycle southbound on Highway 395 and reportedly was coming out of a curve and found herself unable to stay in her lane of travel.

The motorcycle reportedly crossed the centerline of the highway and struck a 2000 Ford Excursion driven by David Lynn McLagan, 47, from Portland. The Ford Excursion was northbound.

The motorcycle reportedly struck the left front of McLagan's vehicle and continued down the side, finally striking the left front of the 24-foot Terry Taurus travel trailer being towed.

Kassien suffered severe injuries as a result of the accident and was treated at the scene by members of the Long Creek Quick Response Team and then transported to Blue Mountain Hospital, where she was Life-flighted to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

The motorcycle was towed by Frontier Towing of Mt. Vernon, and the travel trailer was removed by Mountain Towing of Pendleton.

It's been a busy fall for emergency responders. On Aug. 25, a Redmond, Wash., driver was cited in a Ford Explorer rollover on County Road 63 near Seneca. This crash killed passenger Dennis Bruce Stewart, 57, of Bellevue, Wash.

On Aug. 24, another rollover near Seneca - this one on Forest Road 16 in Logan Valley - injured three Burns-area men.

On Aug. 12, six Burns-area residents were injured in a one-vehicle rollover traffic accident on south Highway 395 around 6:45 p.m. The passenger in the front seat - a juvenile - was ejected from the vehicle and required medical attention. Later, around 8:45 p.m. that night, 61-year-old Curtis Anderson of Anchorage, Alaska, drove his 1978 Mercedes into a tree a mile south of Dale on Highway 395. Anderson was cited for driving under the influence of intoxicants and open container of alcoholic beverage. After being tended by the Long Creek Volunteer Ambulance Crew and transported to Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day, he was discharged in stable condition.

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