Wife of Former Astoria City Councilman Succumbs to Injuries

Date: June 14, 2011
Location: Highway 105, near 5th Street, Astoria
Names: Anna Morden, Donald Morden, Kenneth Ness

Oregon State Police are continuing to investigate an Oregon log truck accident which claimed the life of 83-year-old Anna Morden, the wife of a former Astoria City council member, last Tuesday afternoon. A vehicle alleged to have been involved in the accident left the scene without stopping and was later found by police.

At approximately 3:10 p.m. on the 14th of June, a Toyota pick-up being driven by Anna Morden’s husband, Donald, also 83, was struck from behind by a logging truck driven by Kenneth Ness, 54, from Astoria. Witnesses to the accident said the Morden’s pick-up was northbound on Highway 105, approaching the intersection with 5th Street, when a dark gray southbound car stopped at the 5th Street intersection stop sign suddenly veered in front of the Morden’s pick-up, causing it to come to a near stop. As the gray car cleared the intersection, the Morden’s pick-up was struck by the logging truck, and the gray car continued away from the scene, southbound on Highway 105.

Oregon State Police Lieutenant Duane Stanton said both Anna and Donald Morden, whom police reported were both using safety restraints at the time of the accident, were transferred to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland, where Anna was pronounced dead from her injuries on June 16th. Donald Morden continues to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. Kenneth Ness, who was reportedly not using safety restraints, did not suffer any injuries in the collision. The day after the accident, police identified and located a 19-year-old female who witnesses said was driving the gray car that caused the Morden vehicle to stop suddenly. Police are withholding the name of the female driver, pending further enquiries.

We would like to offer our most sincere condolences to Donald Morden and his extended family on the loss of Anna Morden in this tragic accident, and we wish Donald a speedy recovery from his injuries.

Leaving the scene of an accident that you may have caused, very like hit-and-run, is a serious crime, and conviction could result in your driving privileges being suspended or revoked. In any accident, you have the following obligations:

  • Stop at once. If anyone is killed or unconscious, you must stay at the scene until a police officer arrives.
  • Render aid. Do not move an injured person carelessly, but give reasonable aid
  • Exchange information with the other driver. Give them your name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. DMV offers a printable checklist you can download and keep in your car.
  • Report the accident to DMV.

While we are glad that the driver who may have caused this accident has been located, we can’t help being horrified by this accident. It’s possible the 19-year-old female driver of the gray car was frightened, maybe even in shock, but that does not excuse leaving the accident scene. The injuries to Ann Morden in this accident proved fatal, and leaving the scene was inexcusable. We implore drivers in any accident situation to put the safety and welfare of others above their own interests, and always, always remain at the scene and make sure no one is hurt. We send our best wishes to Donald Morden for a quick and complete recovery, and hope he is out of the hospital soon.

In a case like this, the Morden family may be well advised to contact a reputed Oregon personal injury attorney with experience in crashes where the person who may have caused the accident fled the scene; a personal injury attorney who will fight for the justice and compensation that they deserve. At Shulman DuBois, we believe that what happened to the Mordens is simply unacceptable; we are committed to making sure that culpable drivers are held accountable for their actions, and that both victims and families receive the compensation they deserve.