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Retired Skamania County sheriff involved in chain-reaction crash

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Published: March 28, 2011, 12:00am

A retired Skamania County sheriff was one of several people involved in a chain-reaction traffic accident that killed an Oregon woman.

The multi-vehicle collision occurred about 5:30 p.m. Sunday on Interstate 84 near Cascade Locks.

The Oregon State Police said in a news release that the dead woman’s car was stopped in heavy traffic in the westbound lanes when it was struck from behind. The woman, identified Monday as Vicky Bankhardt, 33, of Happy Valley, Ore., died at the scene.

Police said Marc Edward Taylor, 20, of Edmonds was driving at the speed limit in conditions described as slick and rainy. He apparently failed to see the stopped traffic and slammed into Bankhardt’s vehicle, which was pushed into a Ford Econoline van driven by former Skamania County Sheriff William Closner, 75.

Seven vehicles were involved in the crash.

Taylor and two passengers in his Acura were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland to be treated for minor injuries. Neither of the passengers in the vehicle were wearing seat belts.

Closner, of Stevenson, and the other four drivers were not injured. All of their vehicles were driven from the scene.

No citations have been issued. An investigation by the Oregon State Police is ongoing.

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