OSP Trooper Struck By Vehicle, Suffers Minor Injuries

Date: January 1, 2011
Location: Interstate 5 near Milepost 49 near Grants Pass
Names: Cathy Foster, Eric Tholberg, Josh Quick

An Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper received minor injuries when he was struck by an out-of-control vehicle while investigating a traffic crash about six miles south of Grants Pass. The trooper was treated and released at a local hospital.

According to OSP Sergeant Tanya Henderson, on January 1, 2011 at about 6:45 a.m. Senior Troopers Eric Tholberg and Josh Quick were at the scene of a previous Oregon car crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near milepost 49. Road conditions were very icy in the area. Quick was seated inside the patrol car and Tholberg was standing next to the passenger side.

A 1999 Dodge Durango driven by Cathy Foster, age 44 of Central Point, was heading south when Foster lost control and slid toward the parked OSP patrol car. Fortunately Tholberg saw the vehicle approaching and tried to jump out of the way but Foster’s Dodge Durango struck his left side and leg. Foster’s vehicle did not hit the patrol car.

Tholberg was transported to Three Rivers Community Hospital where he was treated and released for minor injuries. He has worked for OSP for nine years.

The investigation is continuing and no enforcement action has been taken.

We hope that Senior Trooper Tholberg will recover fully from his injuries, and this is another reminder of the danger that these public servants are in on a daily basis.

Potentially dangerous driving conditions are factoring into more traffic crashes and other roadside emergencies. Be watchful for emergency workers and their vehicles — police car, ambulance, tow vehicle, or public safety vehicle — on the roadside with emergency lights flashing.

The Oregon State Police and the Oregon State Department of Transportation have issued these driving tips:

  • Plan ahead to give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination.
  • Stay informed about weather conditions, potential traffic hazards and highway closures.
  • Check road conditions by visiting www.TripCheck.com or calling 5-1-1.
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving starting with good tires, a good battery, and a full tank of gas.
  • Carry an emergency kit and chains or traction tires, especially if traveling over mountain passes.
  • Drive according to conditions. If it’s wet, icy, snowy or foggy, slow down and increase your following distance behind other vehicles to at least a four-second distance. Keep in mind that conditions may not be perfect to drive at the posted speed.
  • Be watchful for potential icy conditions during cold weather on bridges, curves and shaded areas.
  • Use headlights even in daylight to help other drivers see you.
  • Don’t use cruise control in wet, icy, snowy or foggy conditions.