An Albany man was charged with reckless driving Wednesday after a three-car crash on Highway 126 near Powell Butte sent one driver to the hospital with serious injuries, according to the Crook County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies from the Crook County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched around 5:20 a.m. to investigate an injury traffic crash on Hwy. 126 at SW Parrish Ln. in Powell Butte.
Sgt. Jacob Childers said the investigation determined that a Honda Fit driven by a 52-year-old Bend man was stopped eastbound on Hwy. 126 at SW Parrish Rd., waiting to turn left.
A Hyundai Accent being driven by 21-year-old Orion Tillitt of Albany was also eastbound on Hwy. 126 approaching SW Parrish Ln. and failed to stop behind the Honda, Childers said.
Tillitt car rear-ended the Hyundai at near highway speed, pushing the Hyundai into the westbound lane where it collided head-on with a westbound Ford F150 being driven by a 33-year-old Clackamas man.
The Ford F150 left the road after the collision and struck a fence and power pole, shearing the pole and causing it to fall into the road, Childers said.
Crook County Fire Rescue responded to the scene and cut the driver of the Ford F150 from the truck.
He was taken by Life Flight to St. Charles in Bend with possible serious injuries.
The driver of the Honda Fit was taken by Crook County Fire Rescue to St. Charles in Prineville with minor injuries.
Tillitt was cited in lieu of custody at the scene for Reckless Driving. He was taken by Redmond Fire to St. Charles in Redmond for minor injuries.
The Crook County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by the Prineville Police Department, Oregon State Police, Crook County Fire Rescue, Redmond Fire, Life Flight, Oregon Department of Transportation and Pacific Power and Light.
“As early morning and afternoon travel continues to increase on Hwy. 126 and Powell Butte Hwy., drivers need to exhibit patience and plan appropriately for increased travel times,” Childers said. “Deputies have seen a significant increase in citizen traffic complaints and motor vehicle crashes on these roadways, primarily involving speeds/unsafe passing and inattentive driving behaviors.”