Fatal Crash Prompts Safety Investigation

Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Marquam Road, near Mt. Angel, Oregon
Names: Marc Moberly, Roman Fabyanchuk

On December 7, 2009, Marc Moberly, 51, of Silverton, Oregon, died in a crash on Marquam Road near Mt. Angel. According to the Woodburn Independent, Moberly’s pickup truck was hit by a semi truck driven by Roman Fabyanchuk, 25, of Washington.

Moberly was taken to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital by Life Flight. He died there later the same day.

Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sheila Lorance told the Woodburn Independent that after the crash, both vehicles crashed into a vacant house.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Lorance said. “The calls came in that it was a semi truck into a house. I didn’t know until I got there that the house wasn’t occupied so there was quite a bit of response.

Local resident Bruce Stahlecker, director of the board of trustees for Trinity Lutheran Church, which owns the house, witnessed the fatal crash. He told the Woodburn Independent that he saw Fabyanchuk crawl out from the wreckage, but he and other witnesses could not get a response from inside the pickup truck. Stahlecker called 9-1-1.

Stahlecker said damages to the house will run thousands of dollars.

Watching the crash, Stahlecker said it looked like Moberly had the right of way and the semi truck ran through the stop sign. Police are investigating.

In a follow-up article, the Woodburn Independent reported that Marion County Public Works officials are taking a close look at the crash report to see if the intersection at Marquam and Meridian poses a safety threat.

County Engineer Cynthia Schmitt said reviews are standard practice after any serious accident, and that the area has not been the subject of complaints.

But a witness to the fatal crash, Bruce Stahlecker, told the Woodburn Independent that he has heard people complain about the site for years.

“That intersection is prone to accidents,” said Stahlecker. “People seem to blow those stop signs.

Changes could include rumble strips or improved signs. Depending on the investigation’s results, however, the county might not act at all.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Moberly’s family after this terrible accident.

If Moberly did have the right of way, it could make a big difference in any litigation, so it is important to find a good personal injury attorney, who can investigate and help determine what might have happened and who might have been at fault.

Wrongful death claims are allowed by law. ORS 30.010-30.100.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is tricky. It is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .”  In other words, it’s not three years from the date of death; it’s three years from the date of the original injury that ultimately caused the death. If a person goes into a coma from a car crash, and dies eight months later, the case will have to be brought within three years from the date of the car crash, not from the date of the death.

If a city, state, county, or other public body is being sued, a Tort Claim Notice must be received by the entity being sued within 180 days of the injury.

Compensation available includes charges for medical expenses; memorial and burial services; compensation for the person’s pain, suffering, disability, and loss of income from the time of the injury through the time of death; financial losses to the person’s family or other heirs; compensation for the loss of companionship and services to the person’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents and parents; and punitive damages may sometimes be available as well.