Bend man severely burned in truck crash near Mitchell
A Bend man sustained serious burns and other injuries after crashing a well-drilling truck near Mitchell Monday afternoon.
According to Oregon State Police Sgt. Tom Hutchison with the John Day worksite, he and another trooper responded to the accident around 1:45 p.m. An investigation determined that the driver of the truck, 26-year-old Bend man Shaun Alexander, was traveling eastbound on Highway 26, 10 miles west of Mitchell, when the brakes of the vehicle failed. Traveling on a downgrade, the truck, which was towing a one-ton utility vehicle, also lost engine power, leaving the driver without power steering.
Hutchison said the driver was rounding a sharp bend to the right and crossed the westbound lane of the highway and collided with a rock wall. The truck and the vehicle it was towing slid along the wall causing both to ignite and become fully engulfed in flames.
Alexander was able to pull himself away from the truck as other motorists came to his aid until emergency personnel arrived on scene. He was initially transported to St. Charles Bend, but according to a GoFundMe account established by a family member of the driver, he was later transported to Emanuel Hospital in Portland for surgery.
Tarah Alexander, who set up the account on behalf of Alexander's wife and family, said that he suffered burns on 60 to 70 percent of his body as well as a broken leg.
"Shaun is an amazing hard working husband and father of three beautiful babies ages 5, almost 3 and an infant son," Tarah wrote in a summary on the GoFundMe page. "He has a good but very long prognosis with many surgeries and hospital cost to be expected."