One Dead, Four Injured in Single-Car Rollover Crash

Date: July 1, 2010
Location: I-84 near La Grande, Oregon
Names: Edward P. Kjeldgaard, Rodney Lee Kamppi, Joanna L. Kamppi, Hailey Kjeldgaard, Caroline Kjeldgaard

A 69-year-old Salem man died and four family members were injured in a single-car crash on I-84 near La Grande, Oregon, on July 1, 2010, according to an OSP press release.

Around 10:45 AM, Edward P. Kjeldgaard, 40, of Springfield, was driving a 2004 Ford Excursion towing a camper trailer, heading eastbound on the highway in the left lane. As the car moved toward the right lane, Kjeldgaard lost control and the car and trailer went off the right shoulder. The car started to roll, and the vehicles separated. The car continued to roll, traveled down a steep embankment and came to rest against a tree.

Rodney Lee Kamppi, 69, of Salem, who was riding in the right front passenger seat, was pulled from the vehicle by two nurses who stopped at the scene. They tried to revive him using CPR, but Kamppi was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver and three other passengers were injured in the crash, but were expected to survive. Kjeldgaard was taken by ambulance to Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande, along with Joanna L. Kamppi, 39, Hailey Kjeldgaard, 11, and Caroline Kjeldgaard, 8, all of Springfield.

Rodney Kamppi was the father and grandfather of the other occupants of the vehicle. The family was on a Fourth of July weekend camping trip.

All occupants were wearing safety restraints, and OSP troopers are continuing to investigate the crash.

We send our prayers and sympathy to Rodney Kamppiā€™s family and friends. We hope that the other family members involved in this crash will recover soon, and send special thoughts to 11-year-old Hailey and 8-year-old Caroline.

While accidents like this one can seem black or white, a closer investigation will sometimes turn up a surprise. Many will assume that the driver fell asleep at the wheel, or stopped paying attention for some other reason. And perhaps that is exactly what happened. But there are many other possibilities as well. Poor road conditions may have caused this wreck – for all we know, there may have been a large pothole that has already caused three accidents, or maybe there’s a blind curve with a missing warning sign. If that is the case, you may have a potential lawsuit against the state of Oregon. Such a lawsuit would allow the injured person to receive compensation and hopefully prevent future accidents on that stretch of road. Maybe the car was recently brought in for a tune-up, and the mechanic replaced the steering mechanism carelessly, and the car lost steering. These things happen, and when someone is seriously injured, a competent Oregon personal injury attorney can investigate and find out what happened. Usually, at no cost. For more information on what to do in the case of an Oregon accident, read our book, 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case.