Bend Man Arrested After HWY 97 DUII Crash

A Bend man was arrested for drunk driving early Sunday morning after crashing his van into the center divider on Highway 97 near Tumalo Road.

Just before 1 a.m., Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the crash near the southbound highway on-ramp. Deputies found a 2015 black Chevy van had crashed into the center divider.

Richard Lee Kroth


Deputies determined 47-year-old Richard Lee Kroth had been speeding down the Tumalo Place on-ramp approaching Highway 97 and wasn’t able to negotiate the turn to merge into southbound Highway 97. The van drove through both southbound lanes and crashed into the divider.

The force of the van moved the concrete divider over 10 feet which created a hazard for northbound traffic. The north and southbound fast lanes of the Highway were blocked for more than three hours while an Oregon Department of Transportation crew repaired the damaged dividers.

Kroth was not injured in the crash.

The investigation revealed Kroth had been driving impaired and he was arrested for DUII and reckless driving. He was taken to the Deschutes County Jail.



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