Young motorist sentenced for injuring truck driver

A college student was sentenced Sept. 24 for losing control of his car last December and striking a truck driver near the Koberg rest area.

Jeremy Jewkes, 19, of College Place, Wash., admitted to Hood River Judge Donald Hull that he had been driving too fast in his red Honda on Interstate 84 during a winter storm. Because of his speed, Jewkes acknowledged that his car spun out, slid into the center divider, and veered back across the roadway into Terry Erickson, 60, of Spokane, who was chaining up his rig on the shoulder of the west-bound lane. Because of that collision, Erickson was forced to have his left leg amputated and sustained multiple fractures in his right leg and chronic injuries to both his hips and back. According to police reports, the accident also caused several other vehicles to crash and stalled freeway traffic for about two-and-a-half hours.

"In one heartbeat I went from a healthy, happy, active, 60-year-old enjoying what I call my `golden years' with my kids and grandkids to a disabled person unable to enjoy the lifestyle that I had worked my entire life for," said Erickson in a written statement to the court. Because he was wheelchair bound and lived several hundred miles away, Erickson chose not to make a personal appearance, according to Hood River District Attorney John Sewell.

"Everytime he (Jewkes) gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, he needs to be aware that he is behind the wheel of a guided missile, and that he alone is the guide with sole responsibility for its actions," wrote Erickson.

Sewell said just moments before the Dec. 13 collision, police had clocked Jewkes on radar going about 68 miles per hour, when the weather conditions had slowed other traffic to about 40 miles per hour. The accident occurred before the officer could pursue him. Erickson was one of four truck drivers who had stopped that day to chain up a few hundred yards west of a freeway reader board alerting trucker to apply traction devices.

After pleading guilty to the charge of Assault III, Jewkes was ordered to spend 60 days in jail, followed by 36 months of probation. He was given 160 hours of community service and a $2,000 compensatory fine that will go to Erickson. In addition, he was directed to attend traffic safety class, continue his full-time education and write updates to the court every six months about his progress.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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