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Across Oregon, Hundreds Of Crashes And One Fatality Blamed On Weekend Storm

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Rain and snow showers will hit the region through Wednesday, with freezing temps overnight in the later half of the week. 

Because of the slippery conditions and limited visibility, state officials urge motorists not to travel unless absolutely necessary.    

Gary Leaming is with the Oregon Department of Transportation.  He says tire chains are required for most higher, remote areas.

“What we’re finding is, a lot of people are ignoring the “CHAIN UP” signs," Leaming tells KLCC.  "And then they get into trouble and they close the lane just because they’ve gone sideways. 

"So we’re definitely not out of winter yet. I think the public needs to take the chain requirement seriously, not only for their own safety but everyone else.  And just prepare for the worst and hope for the best.” 

Credit Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
The scene of Sunday's fatal collision between a semi, an SUV, and a pickup truck on Highway 97 near La Pine, Oregon.

Meanwhile, Oregon State Police report more than 750 traffic incidents statewide over the weekend.  One fatal crash happened Sunday on Highway 97 near La Pine, south of Bend.  A semi-truck lost control and collided with an SUV and a pickup truck.  The man in the SUV was declared dead on the scene.  

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported the La Pine fatality as the driver of a pickup.  It was actually a man driving an SUV.  We apologize for the error. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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