Police give details from fatality accident

June 15, 2011

Forest Andrews, 18, died shortly before 2 p.m. Friday in a skateboarding accident at Columbia and Industrial Way.

According to a Hood River Police report, Forest was riding his longboard down a hill on Columbia and his body hit a box truck that was traveling west on Industrial Way where it meets Columbia.

Forest and his friend Zach Olmstead were longboarding together where Columbia takes a sharp, steep decline at Fourth street, just north of the Elks Lodge. Olmstead escaped injury.

"Witnesses said they were going really fast," said Police Sgt. Neal Holste, though he could not specify their speed.

Holste said, "As they continued down Columbia, they dropped over the hill, and both saw the semi pull onto Columbia and continue westbound. They both jumped off their longboards and attempted to run it out."

"Zach did okay; he got to the sidewalk; but Forest continued running down the road, and at the flat point tripped and rolled, under the back two tires of the truck."

First on the scene was Jeff Pricher, Cascade Locks fire chief, who was three blocks away at the U.S. Forest Service office when the 9-1-1 call went out. Pricher administered CPR, along with bystanders, until Hood River ambulance crew arrived, said Fire Chief Devon Wells.

"Aid was provided as quickly as you can get it," Wells said, referring to Pricher being so nearby. "There was excellent cooperation between those who first responded, and police and our agency." Capt. Manuel Irusta was incident commander.

"It was definitely a very difficult situation for everyone. They were all highly aware of what an impact this would have on the community."

The truck driver, Robert Henry, was unhurt and no citation will be issued. Henry had stopped the 53-foot empty box truck, registered to Sorenson Transport Company, of Centralia, Wash. at Third and Columbia and was proceeding west on Columbia when the accident occurred.

"He thought he was going to just hit the longboard," Holste said. "He ended up locking (the brakes) up."

City ordinances do not expressly prohibit skateboard use on city streets, but the law does require bikes or skateboards to be equipped "as required by state law, including lights and reflectors," and further states that skateboards must not be operated "in a careless or reckless manner which endangers or would be likely to endanger the person, another or any property."

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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