OSP issues New Year’s traffic report

Preliminary information indicates 12 people died in four separate fatal traffic crashes on Oregon roads during the New Year’s holiday reporting period.

Last year during the same holiday period, six people died in four separate fatal traffic crashes.

The 12 fatalities in 2012, including nine deaths in the Dec. 30 bus crash, equals the highest number reported for two different years during this holiday period since 1970 when ODOT began to gather these statistics.

The same number of traffic deaths were reported for that holiday period in back-to-back years, 1998 and 1999, according to ODOT’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The 102-hour reporting period started at 6 p.m., Dec. 28 and concluded at midnight, Jan. 1.

The New Year’s weekend’s known fatal traffic crashes during the holiday reporting period included:

n On Dec. 30, a 69-year old man from Post Falls, Idaho died after the vehicle he was a passenger in crashed on an icy stretch of Interstate 84 east of Stanfield. The pickup’s driver survived the crash.

n On Dec. 30, nine people died and 38 others were injured when a charter bus lost control on an icy stretch of Interstate 84 east of Pendleton and rolled down a steep embankment.

n On Dec. 31, a 60-year old Cottage Grove-area woman died when she was struck by a vehicle as she stood at the end of her driveway.

n On Dec. 31, a 7-year-old Clackamas boy died when the pickup he was a passenger in lost control on black ice along I-84 west of Mosier and went off the freeway into the Columbia River. The boy’s father survived the crash. (See story, above.)

OSP troopers reported 78 DUII arrests during the holiday period, up from 65 DUII arrests reported last year and nearly matching 79 DUII arrests two years ago.Two DUII arrests were registered by The Dalles OSP Command (Cascade Locks to Arlington).

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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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