Local government

State police investigation concludes deputy responsible in semi-crash

VALE – An Oregon State Police investigation determined a Malheur County Sheriff’s Office deputy was at fault in a crash with a semi-truck Feb. 25.

The crash occurred at about 8:16 p.m. on U.S. Highway 20 just east of Vale toward Ontario when a 2019 Dodge Charger driven by Deputy Cody Hammond clipped the back set of rear tires on a TransSystems semi-truck driven by Mark Mills of Meridian, Idaho.

“While in the middle of negotiating a curve his patrol vehicle crossed over the center line and impacted the semi,” said Oregon State Police Lt. Kurt Marvin.

Hammond was not cited.

The Dodge was destroyed in the crash. Rear tires on the truck were damaged.

Travis Johnson, Malheur County sheriff, said Hammond was responding to a request for help from the state police at the time of the crash.

Johnson said he wasn’t surprised by the results of the investigation.

“Obviously we have to make sure he (Hammond) is properly trained and make sure these things don’t happen,” he said.

Johnson said sheriff’s deputies “put a lot of miles” on their patrol vehicles.

“We are accountable to the people and it is important they know that things happen and we are not perfect but when we make a mistake we need to own up to it and try to do better,” he said.

Johnson said Hammond will go through emergency services vehicle training. He declined to comment on any other personnel action regarding Hammond.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

Previous coverage:

Crash with commercial truck ‘totals’ sheriff’s office vehicle

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