Van, Truck Crash on Icy Highway

Date: February 18, 2010
Location: Oregon 6 (NW Wilson River Highway) near Banks, Oregon
Names: Joseph Romero, Mark Hanson

Two drivers were seriously injured in a head-on collision between a FedEx van and a pickup truck February 18, 2010, on an icy stretch of road on Oregon 6 (NW Wilson River Highway) near Banks, Oregon, according to The Oregonian.

The truck driver, Joseph Romero, 32, of Hillsboro, was traveling west on the highway, near mile marker 37, when he lost control around 8 AM and spun into the eastbound lane. A FedEx van driven by Mark Hanson, 50, of Tillamook, crashed into the truck.

Both drivers were taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center with serious injuries. Hanson was transported by Life Flight and Romero by ambulance. Their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Although we have seen some beautiful spring weather in Oregon, it is still extremely important to watch for patches of ice. The Oregon Department of Transportation, in “Winter Driving Can Be Tricky,” warns that better cars, better roads, and better tires don’t take the place of careful driving.

Tips for Winter (and Early Spring) Driving:

•    In snow or fog, drive with your low beams on. And keep headlights clean – dirty headlights can cut visibility in half.
•    Keep a good grip on the steering wheel. Do not make sudden turns; if you skid, correct your car using a light touch.
•    Increase following distance, then increase it some more. ODOT recommends at least three times the normal following distance in snow or ice.
•    Plan ahead for intersections.
•    If you find yourself skidding, ease your foot off the accelerator. If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch. While keeping your foot off the brake, steer the same direction your car’s rear end is skidding.
•    If you hit a patch of ice, ease up on the accelerator and let your car “roll” through.
•    Remember that posted speed limits are meant for dry conditions, not rain, snow, sleet, or ice. Slow down during winter weather.

What to do now:

•    Be prepared. Take a moment today to double-check your owner’s manual for the best braking technique for your car. Then, stash an emergency kit in the trunk.
•    Read our tips on driving in the rain.
•    Always make sure you and your passengers are wearing safety restraints.

We send our prayers and wishes to Romero and Hanson, and to all their family members. We hope you will be completely recovered soon, and please know that we are thinking of you.

The moments and days after a crash are the most important. First, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. 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 an 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 call 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.