By Rick Bella
MOLALLA, Ore. — Oregon State Police are investigating a crash on Oregon 211 west of Molalla Thursday night that resulted in minor injuries to Colton Fire Chief Richard Beaudoin.
Beaudoin was driving the Colton Fire District's marked GMC Yukon south on Oregon 211 near South Needy Road around 10:15 p.m., when an oncoming passenger car suddenly came into his lane. Beaudoin said he took evasive action to avoid a head-on crash, then drove onto the shoulder, lost control, crossed the highway and crashed into an embankment, facing the wrong way.
"I had about two seconds to make the decision — hit head-on or go into the ditch," Beaudoin said. "When I hit the ditch, it sling-shotted me across the highway and into a berm."
He said fire district's Yukon was so badly damaged and that he couldn't move it. The driver's-side door wouldn't budge, so he climbed out through the back seat.
Three or four minutes later, a southbound Honda Accord came over the hill and crashed into the front of the Yukon.
"We always tell people in a crash to stay where they are," Beaudoin said. "But something told me to get out of the Yukon. Now, I'm glad I did."
Beaudoin was taken by ambulance to Silverton Hospital, where he was treated and released.
The Honda Accord's driver, Daniel Schrock, 54, of Harrisburg, and an adult male passenger, were not injured.
Lt. Gregg Hastings, Oregon State Police spokesman, said Beaudoin was using safety restraints when his Yukon hit the embankment. The airbags in the vehicle deployed. State police were assisted at the scene by Clackamas County sheriff's deputies and a crew from the Monitor Fire District.
Beaudoin said the vehicle veered into his lane was black, with tinted windows, but that he couldn't catch the license plates.
"I'm pretty stiff and sore today — especially in the chest," Beaudoin said. "I'm going to have to lay low for a while."
(c)2014 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
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