Driver Seriously Injured in Highway 97 Truck Crash

Date: October 17, 2009
Location: Highway 97 north of Madras, Oregon
Names: Kesar Bhatti

According to an Oregon State Police press release, Kesar Bhatti, 51, of Stockton, California, was seriously injured around 3 PM, October 17, 2009, when his commercial truck and trailer, loaded with apples, left the road on Highway 97 about three miles north of Madras, Oregon.

Bhatti was pinned inside the truck with serious injuries. Fire personnel extracted Bhatti from the truck, and Air Link helicopter ambulance transported him to St. Charles Medical Center – Bend. According to KTVZ.com, Bhatti was in fair condition.

Bhatti was driving a 2004 Freightliner truck and pulling a utility trailer southbound on the highway. On a downhill slope near NE Elm Lane, the truck and trailer left the road and crashed into a nearby farm field. The trailer split open, spilling apples on the field and in the southbound lane of the highway. The truck also leaked several gallons of diesel fuel, which was contained by fire personnel.

Responders included Madras Police Department, Oregon Department of Transportation, Smaf Environmental, Jefferson County Rural Fire Protection District, and Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services.

The southbound lane of Highway 97 was closed until around 4:35 PM, with flaggers directing traffic. As of October 17, state police from Madras and Bend were continuing to investigate the crash.

Many accidents are difficult to understand, but this one involved a man who drove for a living. He had logged more miles on the road than most of us, and had acquired some expertise. What happened? Perhaps this was a dangerous stretch of road. Maybe it was mechanical failure. Or maybe Bhatti took his eyes off the road for a second. We may not ever know exactly what occurred, but we do send Bhatti our best wishes, and we hope he’ll be out of the hospital soon in good health.

If you have been in a crash where the details are unclear, it is especially important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney, who can conduct a thorough investigation and let you concentrate on your recovery. Some cases, on the other hand, can be settled without an attorney, and our free information can help. If you have more questions, please let us know.

Shulman DuBois, LLC, is located in Portland, Oregon, and serves clients in all Oregon cities and counties, including: Portland, Beaverton, Multnomah County, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tualatin, Troutdale, Sellwood, Corvallis, Salem, Eugene, and Albany.