Fatal Truck Accident on Interstate 84

Date: December 6, 2010
Location: Baker City, OR
Names: Christina Maria Cook, David Ramsey

After two days of extrication work by eastern Oregon emergency responders, a construction company and area tow companies, a fatal traffic crash victim was removed from a crushed commercial truck.

According to Oregon State Police Lieutenant David MacManiman, on December 4 at approximately 10:22am a Wild West Express commercial truck from Las Cruses, New Mexico was pulling a semi-trailer packed with twenty tons of frozen food. The truck was headed east on Interstate 84 near milepost 334 when the driver, David Ramsey, age 47 of Denver, Colorado, lost control on an icy curve and crashed through a guardrail. The truck and trailer rolled down an embankment and stopped about 120 feet from the road above the Burnt River.

Ramsey was extricated from the truck by Huntington Fire Department personnel and transported to St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was released following treatment.

Christina Maria Cook, age 45 of Monahans, Texas, was the truck’s co-driver and passenger, and was in the sleeper berth at the time of the crash. She died at the scene. Because of hazardous conditions at the crash site, emergency responders were not able to extricate Ms. Cook’s body until 48 hours after the crash.

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers from Baker City are continuing the investigation.

We are saddened by this tragic truck accident and our hearts go out to the family and friends of Ms. Cook.

Even professional drivers like Mr. Ramsey find themselves in bad road conditions that are dangerous. Whenever road conditions are icy or hazardous, give yourself extra time to reach your destination, and drive at a slower pace than normal.

  • When you need to stop the car, start braking earlier than usual. This allows room for extra stopping distance. It also signals the driver behind you that you’re planning to come to a stop.
  • Take curves and turns especially slowly.
  • Do not use cruise control. If you do, and you hydroplane, it’s possible your car could accelerate.
  • Always use headlights in the rain – even if it’s just a sprinkle. Headlights help you see and be seen in wet weather.

Finally, if the weather is so bad that you can’t see the car in front of you, or you’re having difficulty seeing the road, pull over and wait for the storm to die down.