A Culver woman was injured Monday morning when her SUV was struck from behind by a semi truck as she was stopped to turn left on Highway 97 about five miles south of Madras, Oregon State Police said.
According to OSP Lt. Carl Rhodes, Megan Erickson, 21, was at the wheel of a Ford Explorer, stopped southbound on the highway near milepost 100, preparing to turn east onto SW Bear Drive, when it was struck from behind by a southbound commercial truck whose driver was momentarily distracted and said he didn't see the stopped vehicle..
The impact pushed the SUV off the southeast side of the highway and the truck came to rest in the southbound lane, Rhodes said.
Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 and Jefferson County EMS responded to the scene to render treatment and take Erickson to Mountain View Hospital in Madras, with injuries “believed to be non-life-threatening,” Rhodes said.
She later was flown by Life Flight helicopter to St. Charles-Bend, where she was listed in fair condition.
Sheriff Jim Adkins said she apparently suffered a head injury from as an item in the SUV flew from the back to the front during the crash.
The truck driver, David Mosebar, 45, of Moses Lake, Wash.,declined medical treatment, the lieutenant said, adding that he was cited for careless driving.
OSP also was assisted at the scene by Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies and ODOT.
OSP noted that April is "Distracted Driving Awareness Month", and according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association there are four types of driver distraction, and any of them can be deadly:
* Visual: looking at something other than the road
* Auditory: hearing something not related to driving
* Manual: moving your hands from the wheel
* Cognitive: thinking about something other than the complex driving task at hand
While most any activity can distract a driver, one of the more common behaviors is using a cell phone.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, taking your eyes off the road for just over four seconds while traveling 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field full of people while blindfolded.
For more information about the impacts of distracted driving and what you can do to prevent it, visit www.distraction.gov.