Crash Kills Brookings Man, Sparks Wildfire

Date: July 20, 2010
Location: Highway 101 near Gold Beach, Oregon
Names: Vincent Jaramillo, Allen Hart

A Brookings, Oregon man was killed July 20, 2010, in a car-truck crash that sparked a 168-acre brush fire on both sides of Highway 101 near Gold Beach, according to the Curry County Reporter and an OSP press release.

Around 1:45 PM, a car driven by Vincent Jaramillo, 33, of Brookings was northbound on the highway, when, for unknown reasons, it drifted into the southbound lane and crashed into a commercial truck pulling two trailers.

The commercial truck continued in the southbound lane for around 200 years, then crashed through the guardrail, tipped on its side, and caught fire. Fanned by high winds, the flames spread to nearby brush on both sides of the highway.

Jaramillo was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck’s driver, Allen Hart, 61, sustained minor injuries and was taken to Curry General Hospital.

Personnel from fire departments throughout Curry County were assisted by workers from Coos County and Del Norte County in efforts to control the fire. Coos-Curry Forest Protective Association had four engines, a water tender, two dozers, and two helicopters on the scene, along with a fixed wing air attack. U.S. Forest Service firefighters also assisted in controlling the fire.

By 5 PM, the fire appeared to be nearly out, but it flamed up again. By 8:30 PM, flames were still rising to 10-15 feet, and dense smoke made it difficult to see. Finally, as of 8 AM the next morning, workers had contained the fire at 168 acres.

After this tragic crash, we would like to send our thoughts and wishes to Hart, and our sincerest condolences to the Jaramillo family.

We would also like to applaud the courageous work of the firefighters who kept the fire from spreading further.

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