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Community rallies around Scotts in wake of fatal crash

Bob Scott, 76, dies Sunday in motor home accident despite passing motorists' attempts to rescue him

Support has been overwhelming for the family of Springdale resident Bob Scott, 76, who died Sunday, Oct. 22, of injuries he sustained when his motor home veered off Interstate 84 near Cascade Locks and caught fire. The family has received so much food they had to open the District 14 Springdale fire hall next door to store it.

Bob, former Corbett fire chief, and his wife Nevalin "Nev" Scott, 74, were returning home from Tygh Valley, where they had been camping with friends as part of The Honorable Order of Ancient Motor Homes, when the accident happened.

At 2:37 p.m. near exit 44, the 1986 Tioga Class C motor home exited the roadway from the westbound lanes of I-84. Preliminary information indicates Nev Scott fell asleep at the wheel, said Lt. Gregg Hastings, Oregon State Police spokesman.

Scott said she isn't sure what happened but remembers steering as hard as she could when she realized the vehicle had left the road. The RV hit a rock and rolled down a short embankment before flipping onto its passenger side. Everything that had been in the back of the motor home - luggage, groceries, etc. - came crashing forward, burying Bob Scott, who was sitting in the passenger seat.

Passing motorist Walter Hohl pulled over, broke out one window and the windshield to get Nev and Bob Scott out. After three attempts, Hohl was able to drag Bob Scott from the vehicle.

The rear of the motor home was on fire immediately after the crash and within minutes, there was a loud explosion, most likely the gas tank. Hohl said flames were "shooting 40 feet in the air."

Bob Scott was conscious but trapped under the debris blocking his seatbelt. After Hohl broke out the windshield, Scott was able to crawl halfway out of the vehicle, and Hohl dragged him from the wreck, where two people helped move him to a safer location.

LifeFlight had arrived, and emergency personnel began to treat Scott. He died of his injuries just as LifeFlight lifted off.

Hohl sustained minor burns on his face, cheek and nose during the rescue attempt. He is at home in Astoria and doing OK. Nev Scott was treated at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital and released Sunday evening with no serious injuries.