Lafayette Man, 66, Seriously Injured in Traffic Crash

Date: August 13, 2010
Location: Highway 99W near Lafayette, Oregon
Names: Catarino Garcia, Ryan Bernards

A 21-year-old Dayton, Oregon man was cited by Oregon State Police on August 13, 2010, after a highway crash that seriously injured another man, according to

The crash occurred around 9:15 AM on Highway 99W east of Lafayette. A car driven by Ryan Bernards, 21, of Dayton, stopped on Stoller Road, then started to cross Highway 99W toward SE Kreder Road, into the path of a pickup truck driven by Catarino Garcia, 66, of Lafayette.

Garcia was airlifted to OHSU with serious injuries. He was using safety restraints.

Bernards, who was not injured in the crash, was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device and Failure to Use a Safety Belt.

The investigation and collision response blocked Highway 99W for about an hour. State police were assisted by Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, along with fire personnel from Dayton, Lafayette, and McMinnville.

We send our best wishes to Garcia, and our hopes for a quick and complete recovery.

Some people might think that running a stop sign or crossing on a red light isn’t all that important, especially compared to offenses like speeding or driving drunk. But a crash like this shows the need to follow all the laws, at all times. Failing to obey a seemingly “minor” law could result in serious injury, or even death.

As DMV Administrator Tom McClellan writes in the Oregon Driver Manual 2010-2011, “Your safety – and that of your passengers, other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists – depends on you.”

But even careful drivers can be injured in a car crash. If this happens to you, the first and most important step is to seek medical attention. Your health comes before anything else. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should have a record of anything after the accident in case the pains become more serious. Second, either you, a friend or family member, or a qualified attorney, should collect evidence from the accident scene. Evidence can disappear quickly, so doing this while your loved one is in the hospital is of extreme importance. We understand that you may not want to do this while you or your loved one is in the hospital, so you may want to ask a Portland personal injury attorney to do it for you.

The months after an accident are important as well. There are time limits to filing a claim if you have been in an accident. And sometimes you can’t go back to work, so you start to worry about paying medical bills and wage loss. These are all stressful things, and it doesn’t help that the insurance company won’t leave you alone, but they won’t help you either. So please, do not hesitate to contact us or request a free copy of our book, 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case. Our website has helpful advice, and what we don’t cover there, we will be more than happy to answer ourselves.