Man drives brand new truck into La Pine storage unit after wheel comes off

A 73-year-old Bend man drove a brand new truck through a chain link fence and into a self storage unit after a bizarre crash in La Pine Thursday night, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

The man was transporting the truck from a Grants Pass dealership to a dealership in Bend where it was to be sold on Friday.

It was the second car crash into a building in La Pine on Thursday.

Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said deputies were dispatched to the crash about 9:43 p.m. The manager of High Desert Self Storage told Deschutes County 911 that a truck drove into his employer’s building.

DCSO Deputies arrived to find a 2019 Ford F250 had partially penetrated two full storage units. None of the units were occupied by people, Vander Kamp said.

During the drive north on Highway 97, the truck’s front-right tire separated from the wheel. For reasons unknown, the man continued to drive on the metal wheel for a substantial distance. This caused the front wheel to be ground down to the wheel studs.

When the man arrived in La Pine, he tried to drive the truck to a tire repair store before losing control of the truck. Vander Kamp said it appears the man applied the accelerator rather than the brake. This caused the truck to leave the road, through a fence and into two storage units.

No one was injured in the crash. The damage to the new truck was moderate and the metal framed building was substantial. The damage to the storage units contents are unknown since it was unsafe to enter the building, Vander Kamp said.

The cause remains under investigation. Alcohol and/or drug impairment do not appear to be factors. Although citations have not been issued, reports have been forward to the DMV recommending the man for a driver’s license re-examination.

Earlier in the day, someone drove an SUV through the wall of the La Pine post office. Nobody was injured in that crash either.

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