Crashes leave one dead, one hurt

2012-12-09T07:00:00Z Crashes leave one dead, one hurtBy Kyle Odegard, Mid-Valley Sunday Albany Democrat Herald
December 09, 2012 7:00 am  • 

A commercial truck driver from Coos Bay died early Saturday morning during a crash on Old Salem Road in Millersburg.

Steven Ames, 54, apparently suffered a medical problem, said Sgt. Kevin Guilford of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. He had no visible injuries, and it’s unclear whether the crash or the medical problem caused his death, Guilford added.

Ames’ 2000 Mack tractor, which wasn’t pulling a trailer, left the roadway near Nygren Road at about 12:20 a.m. for an unknown reason.

The tractor went over a curb, clipped a power pole and traveled through a grassy area, then went down an embankment and into a shallow creek, well off the roadway.

Ames apparently didn’t apply the brakes, as there were no skid marks.

The truck had been off the roadway for about 10 hours before a passerby noticed it and called 911 at 10:28 a.m. The engine was still running and in gear and its wheels were still turning, unable to gain traction in the creek bed.

A transponder in commercial trucks, similar to a GPS unit, gathered information about the crash that police were able to use, Guilford said.

Ames stores his truck in the Millersburg area and was leaving for a job when the crash occurred.

The crash remains under investigation.


Pedestrian struck in Sweet Home

SWEETE HOME — A pedestrian apparently jaywalking across Highway 20 was hit by a sport utility vehicle on Friday night.

Kenneth Pace, 61, of Sweet Home, has been transported to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

He was struck by a Saturn SUV on Main Street near Fourth Avenue at about 5:10 p.m. Pace was not in a crosswalk, said Sgt. Jason Van Eck of the Sweet Home Police department.

“He was wearing fairly dark clothing, so it was difficult to see him,” Van Eck said.

It also was raining at the time of the crash, which further hampered visibility.

That stretch of highway has a 35 mph speed limit, and is four lanes with a continuous turn lane.

The driver of the SUV was Herbert Sterner, 84, of Lebanon.

Investigation into the incident is continuing.

Kyle Odegard covers public safety for the D-H. He can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or

Copyright 2015 Albany Democrat Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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