USA –-A van transporting 10 contract wildland firefighters, headed for a fire in Grant County, crashed into a commercial truck early Tuesday morning near Prineville.
Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into the crash, which left one woman firefighter in critical condition. The other nine occupants of the van were transported to area hospitals, treated and released.
The wreck occurred about 2:15 a.m. on Highway 126 East.
Troopers said the van was eastbound when the driver apparently fell asleep. The van drifted into the westbound land and collided with the left front side of a Freightliner truck driven by Scott Ramage, 48, of Washington state.
The truck’s driver and a 39-year old male passenger, who was sleeping at the time, were not injured.
The van driver, Jeremy A. Miesner, 35, of Salem, was cited for failure to drive within a lane.
OSP was assisted at the scene by agencies including Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Prineville Police Department, Crook County Fire & Rescue, Life Flight, AirLink, and ambulances from the city of Redmond and Jefferson County.
Transported by air and ground ambulances to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend were: Pedro Lemus Ramos, 37, Salem; Manuel Perez Abriz, 40, Salem; Marcelino Cuesta Romero, 39, city unknown.
Romero was listed in critical condition.
Taken by ambulance and treated and released at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Prineville were: Meisner; Christopher Reed, 29, of Salem; Rogelia Samic, 22, Salem; Jesus Medera, 38, Independence.
Also treated and released at St. Charles were: Jovita Romero, 36, Woodburn; Jose Salas, 20, Salem; and Jerson Mendoza, 33, Salem.
According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, the fire crew works for Lava River Forestry out of Salem. They were en route to assist firefighting efforts at the Briley Mountain Fire near Monument.