Holden Martin, 19, of Northport, WA died in a crash on Thursday involving a tractor. (Photo courtesy of the Oregon State Police)
ONTARIO – A Northport, WA man was killed in a three-vehicle crash on Oregon Highway 201 late Thursday morning, said the Oregon State Police.
Holden Martin, 19, of Northport, WA, died at the scene of the crash that occurred at 11:43 a.m. near milepost 20.
OSP and emergency personnel responded to the “chaotic” scene and the Oregon Department of Transportation closed down a stretch of the highway for close to four and a half hours, according to the OSP.
The incident began when a white Ford 150 operated by Allan Garrison, 83, of Weiser driving north struck a farming implement being pulled behind a John Deere tractor traveling south driven by Hector Garduno Dominguez, 54, of Weiser, ID.
The implement peeled open the driver’s side of the Ford pickup and caused serious injuries to Garrison’s left arm, according to the OSP.
Martin was traveling north behind Garrison in a 1999 Honda Accord and struck the implement after Garrison hit it police said.
Martin died at the scene.
Garrison was transported by ambulance to St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario for treatment of his injuries. Oregon State Police Lt. Mark Duncan said that Garrison was still in the hospital late Wednesday evening.
“Anytime there’s going to be slow moving farm equipment on roadway people need to be observant and patient and drive slow when approaching or waiting until it is safe to pass them,” said OSP Sgt. Bob Wilson.
Wilson noted that it is now harvest time for farmers, meaning that there are going to be lots of farm equipment on the roads.
As of Thursday afternoon the investigation into the crash was continuing, said Duncan.
Duncan said that part of the reason why the initial press release about the crash took longer than anticipated was giving Martin’s family time to get to the area from their home near the Canadian border.
“It’s a horrible tragedy,” he said.
Duncan noted that Malheur County is a rural, agricultural community where farm implements on the highways are exempt from some laws. Drivers should reduce speed and increase following distance, he said.
This story has been updated to correct Holden Martin’s name, incorrectly listed by the Oregon State Police in its news release.