Car Crashes into Banks of Grande Ronde River After Driver Falls Asleep

Four people were injured - two seriously - Sunday morning when a car crashed into the banks of the Grande Ronde River. (Photo courtesy of OSP)

Four people were injured Sunday morning when their vehicle went off the road on Interstate 84 and crashed into the banks of the Grande Ronde River.

Oregon State Police responded around 7:38 a.m. to a single-vehicle crash on I-84 near milepost 256.  A silver Mazda CX-9 was traveling westbound when the driver fell asleep and left the roadway. The vehicle went around a guardrail and then down an embankment for approximately 200 feet until coming to a rest on the driver’s side on the banks of the Grande Ronde River. A witness to the crash was able to remove the two juvenile passengers from the vehicle, which was on fire. The witness told the trooper that the vehicle was on fire when he arrived, but he was able to put the fire out with water from the river.

Firefighters and medical personnel arrived on the scene and had to extricate the driver and front passenger. The two adults were taken by life flight with serious injuries. The two juvenile passengers were taken to Grande Ronde Hospital. The trooper on scene stated that a Union County Sheriff’s deputy went above and beyond carrying the injured little girl across the Grande Ronde River to get medical attention.

OSP was assisted by Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Search & Rescue, La Grande Police Department, La Grande Fire Department, and Island City Fire.  Union Pacific Railroad personnel also responded to the scene to assist because OSP used the railroad right of way to extract the vehicle from the river.