A serious accident occurred overnight on HWY 39 near Merrill. Klamath Alerts Users report that a car went off the road near Merrill and severed a power pull and landed upside down in a field. According to Pacific Power, the power has been out since at least 4:47am when it was reported to them. We will update with more information once it becomes available. As of article time the power remained out.
A special thanks to Tavo, Terry, and Randy for the reports and information.
Update: Klamath Alerts has obtained additional information:
There was one occupant in the vehicle and he was driving to work. It is reported that he fell asleep while driving, departed the highway, rolled three times at highway speed, and severed a power pole knocking out power for areas of Merrill and Malin. Injuries are reported to be minor for the driver and medical examined him but did not take him to the hospital. OSP is investigating the accident.
The above information is preliminary. We will post more if there is an official press release.
Side Note: Initial reports we received about this accident were that the wreck did not look survivable.
On Saturday, April 28, 2018, at approximately 10:15 AM, OSP was notified that the missing CMV driver, Jacob Aaron CARTWRIGHT had returned home and was en-route to Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande for medical evaluation. An OSP Senior Trooper from the La Grande Area Command responded to the hospital and positively identified CARTWRIGHT.
CARTWRIGHT informed the Trooper that he had encountered snow and mud on the roadway and his vehicle combination began to slide toward a steep embankment. CARTWRIGHT was unsure of the name of the location where this occurred but provided information that a road that he had traveled onto began with a “G.” Forest Service Road 51, which is also known as Grande Ronde River Road, is located approximately 1.5 miles east of the area of the last known GPS location the night that CARTWRIGHT went missing. Forest Service Road 51 travels south of State Route 244 near milepost 35. With this new information, an OSP aircraft was deployed to that area and located the semi-truck and trailer at 10:59 AM. Two troopers from the La Grande Area Command arrived to the site at 11:58 AM. The location the vehicle was located was approximately 21 miles from the last known GPS location.
After CARTWRIGHT’s vehicle became unsafe to move, he departed the area on foot traveling along Forest Service Road 5125 and away from the direction that had initially approached from. CARTWRIGHT continued to walk in a northeast direction in what is estimated to be in excess of 14 miles before emerging from the forest at the 270 interchange of Interstate 84 approximately 9 miles south of La Grande. This route of travel from his vehicle was at elevations from approximately 5000 feet to 6500 feet as he crossed snowy mountain peaks and back down to Interstate 84. CARTWRIGHT was able to flag down an unidentified passing motorist who provided him with a ride to his home in La Grande.
The initial investigation has revealed CARTWRIGHT may have encountered a problem with his navigational GPS system and was routed off of State Route 244 onto Forest Service Road 51 where he traveled approximately 12.5 miles before turning onto Forest Service Road 5125. Mr. Cartwright traveled an additional 9 miles on Forest Service Road 5125 before his vehicle combination spun out and began to slide toward the steep embankment along the shoulder of the road. This area is a remote and mountainous location that has very limited, if any, cellular service.
OSP assisted the Union County Sheriff’s Office and several concerned volunteers in the search to locate CARTWRIGHT. Any questions regarding the search and rescue operations should be directed to the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 963-1017.
On April 11, the Klamath County School District sent 4,200 hamburgers to all its schools. The 700 pounds of meat to make those burgers came from Flying T Ranch in Sprague River, where Bruce Topham and his family have been raising specialized Salers cattle for more than 40 years.
This was a pilot project with the Farm to School program, and a partnership between the district, OSU Klamath Basin Research & Extension Center and Flying T Ranch.
Mr. Topham joined Stearns Elementary students for lunch on April 11, where he smiled, laughed and answered students’ questions about his ranch and his cattle. He even ate one of the hamburgers for lunch.
PacifiCorp lowering Klamath hydro project reservoirs to support basin agriculture needs
Iron Gate and Copco Reservoirs to drop about five feet below normal
Klamath Falls, Ore. —PacifiCorp began reducing flows out of Link River Dam in Klamath Falls Thursday afternoon in response to a request from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to assist efforts to meet competing demands for water in the Klamath Basin.
The reduced flows out of Link River will result in lower water levels in the Iron Gate and Copco reservoirs, located along the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, California. Flows out of Link River Dam will drop from about 1,600 cubic feet per second on Thursday morning to about 400 cfs by Monday.
Adjusting operations of the Klamath hydro project will allow 10,500 acre-feet of water to be retained in Upper Klamath Lake. This will allow the Bureau of Reclamation to divert an equivalent amount of water to allow irrigators to charge their canals and begin the irrigation season, while also complying with Klamath River flow and Upper Klamath Lake level requirements to benefit endangered and threatened fish.
While the resulting drop in water levels at Iron Gate and Copco reservoirs will be noticeable, boat ramps and other recreational opportunities should not be impacted under the current drawdown plan.
“It’s unfortunately another challenging water year in the Klamath Basin,” said Todd Andres, Pacific Power’s regional business manager in Klamath Falls. “Our hope is that by working with Reclamation and others that we can help stretch existing supplies to meet the many competing needs for water.”
The Oregon State Police is assisting the Union County Search and Rescue team and Sheriff’s Office in locating 22 year old Jacob Aaron CARTWRIGHT, from La Grande. CARTWRIGHT’s last contact was on April 24th at approximately 5:30PM, when he was in the area of Pendleton. CARTWRIGHT was operating a green 2005 Kenworth commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with the company name “Little Tree Transportation” on it with a white semi-trailer. The license on the CMV is an Oregon plate YAIN63. At the time, CARTWRIGHT was en route to make a delivery in Nyssa, Oregon by 7:30AM on April 25th.
GPS information for the CMV on April 26th at approximately 12:00PM, in the area of Hwy 244 near MacIntyre Road, which is just west of Hilgard State Park. This area has been searched by OSP aircraft and continues to be searched by ground rescue personnel. This area is very remote, heavily wooded with rough terrain and very expansive.
If CARTWRIGHT or the CMV is seen, the public is urged to contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 541-963-1017 or the Oregon State Police at *OSP.
The trucking company states that the last known GPS ping was near Starkey, Oregon
“Last known location was US395 South at Pilot Rock, OR Tuesday April 24 at 8:15pm, and his GPS pinged at tower on OR244 MP 33 near Starkey, OR”
On Thursday April 26, 2018 at approximately 2:12 PM Klamath 9-1-1 Emergency Communication received a call of a male stabbed in the neck at the Merrill Apartments 656 W. 3rd Street Apartment #8 Merrill, Oregon.
Merrill Police, Malin Police and Klamath County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) responded. The 27-year old male victim was stabbed in the neck while inside his apartment with his two children. The suspect was identified by the victim as Arturo Jeffery Leon. Basin Ambulance transported the victim to Sky Lakes Medical Center.
Within an hour of the incident, Leon was located at 151 W. Court Drive Merrill, Oregon where he was taken into custody.
The incident is still under investigation
The Merrill Elementary School was placed on locked down for a brief time until the suspect was taken into custody.
The Victim was treated and released from Sky Lakes Medical Center.
A semi truck enroute to Nyssa, OR area for delivery has vanished near Starkey, Oregon.
The truck was transporting a load from the Portland area and is already past due to arrive in the Nyssa, Oregon area. Earlier reports stated that the truck was bound for the Boise, ID area.
Oregon State Police and other agencies are searching for the truck. The truck is operated by Little Trees Transportation (based in La Grande) and they have reported that the driver’s cell phone and logbook pings suddenly stopped in the Starkey area of Eastern, Oregon near La Grande.
The company has lost all contact with the driver and the trucks electronic reporting system.
On Tuesday, April 24th at approximately 12:30pm, Oregon State Police responded to Hawley Hall on the request for a welfare check on a student in a room on the 5th floor. The student had contacted the Corvallis Police and stated that he was in fear for his life, and requested help. As a precaution, OSU evacuated the 5th floor of Hawley Hall. Their initial emergency notification that was sent at 6:50pm is as follows:
OSU Alert – Emergency Notification Corvallis Campus – Hawley Hall Public Safety Matter
OSU Alert: Oregon State Police troopers and other OSU public safety personnel, Tuesday afternoon, April 24, have responded to an ongoing matter involving the welfare of an Oregon State University student resident of Hawley Hall, who has experienced a crisis and remains in his room. Specialized OSP troopers have arrived on OSU’s Corvallis campus to provide for crisis support and public safety. At this time, law enforcement does not believe there is a safety risk to the general campus community. As a precautionary measure, residents of the fifth floor of Hawley Hall will remain evacuated pending further notice. OSU’s Department of Public Safety asks that OSU community members and the general public stay out of the area, bordering Southwest Jefferson Way, Southwest Weatherford Place, Southwest Intramural Lane and Southwest Sackett Place. Further updates will be provided as information is available.
At 2:45pm, OSP Troopers attempted contact with student at his room, but he would not answer the door. Eventually, communication began with him through the door with the assistance of the Benton County Mental Health Crisis Team.
At 4:00pm the student activated the fire alarm sprinkler system. The remainder of Hawley Hall was evacuated. It was determined there was no fire and the sprinkler system was disabled.
At 4:11pm, OSP SWAT negotiators arrived and established communication with Daly by use of a phone and talking through the door. This continued until 10:12pm. At this point the student began setting a fire inside his room. SWAT began attempting to enter the room but the door was heavily barricaded. Before entry was made, the student jumped out the window of the dorm room and landed in the grass outside the residence hall. He was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.
The second emergency notification that was sent out by OSU at 11:13pm is as follows:
OSU Alert – Corvallis Campus – Hawley Hall Public Safety Matter
OSU Alert: The situation involving the welfare of an Oregon State University Corvallis student in Hawley Hall on Tuesday, April 24, has been resolved according to the Oregon State Police and the OSU Department of Public Safety. The student has been transported for medical attention. Residents of the fifth floor of Hawley Hall will remain evacuated pending further notice from University Housing and Dining Services. OSU’s Department of Public Safety continues to request that OSU community members and the general public stay out of the area bordering Southwest Jefferson Way, Southwest Weatherford Place, Southwest Intramural Lane and Southwest Sackett Place until further notice.
The student is identified as 25 year old Charles Mark DALY. DALY is still being treated for injuries at Good Samaritan Hospital and is in stable condition. He is also being evaluated by mental health professionals. OSP is continuing the investigation.