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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Dec. 7, 2023

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Crash east of La Center injures mother, child

A woman required flight for life and a child was sent to the hospital in critical condition

By , Columbian political reporter

A woman with life-threatening injuries was transported via Life Flight and a child in critical condition was hospitalized following a vehicle crash Saturday morning east of La Center.

Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies and emergency responders were dispatched shortly after 9 a.m. to the 5300 block of Northeast Lockwood Creek Road for a collision, according to a news release. They found a 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser that had exited the roadway on the right-hand shoulder. The westbound vehicle rolled and hit a tree, according to the news release. 

The vehicle was occupied by four children — ages 2, 8, 10 and 12 — as well as their 36-year-old mother who was driving the car, according to the news release. The mother was trapped within the vehicle. She was extracted from the car and transported to a Portland hospital by Life Flight, according to the sheriff’s office.

The 8-year-old child was transported by AMR to a Portland hospital. The other children were uninjured and released to another parent.

The Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit is investigating and did not release any additional information.

John Nohr, fire chief at Clark County Fire and Rescue, said three children in the car were able to get out on their own. But he said removing the woman involved a particularly challenging extraction that took 40 minutes to complete due to the damage of the vehicle.

“It was wrapped around a tree,” said Nohr. “They considered having a tow truck pull it to get better access but decided not to.”

He said that an unusual aspect of the accident was that the driver’s side of the car was on the right side of the vehicle, like automobiles in Europe.

Hours after the crash, Jonathan Horton, who lives down the street from the where the crash occurred, was seen directing cars to turn away from the closed-off portion of the road. He said he didn’t see the crash but heard emergency vehicles respond to it. When asked if he saw many crashes along the windy road, he said, “a lot.” He also pointed to a sign advising drivers to slow their speed along the curves and said it’s often ignored.

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Columbian political reporter