Youth dies in Shaniko accident
A holiday trip from California to Washington state ended in tragedy Dec. 23 on an icy section of U.S. Highway 97 about three miles south of Shaniko in North Central Oregon.
A 9-year old from California was ejected and died after the vehicle he was riding in rolled. Six other persons were treated and released for minor injuries at Mountain View Hospital.
A 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe sport utility vehicle with seven occupants was northbound on U.S. Highway 97 near milepost 65 around 2:30 a.m. when the driver lost control on an icy section of the highway, overcorrected and rolled onto the shoulder.
Investigators believe three occupants seated in the rear bench seat were not using safety restraints and were ejected out of the vehicle. One of the three ejected occupants was pronounced deceased at the scene. The victim is identified as Andre Armstead, 9, a Sonoma County resident from near Santa Rosa, Calif.
The other two ejected occupants were identified as Dontae Franklin, 8, and Marina Cataquet, 12. They were treated and released from Mountain View Hospital in Madras.
The driver, Sharon R. Lloyd, 39, from Vallejo, Calif., was using safety restraints and received minor injuries. She is a relative of the victim.
The other occupants were believed to be using safety restraints and were treated and released for minor injuries. They are identified as right front passenger Candis Lloyd, 20, from Santa Rosa, California; left-center seat passenger Giorgia Ardizzola, 16; and, right-center seat passenger Mica Williams, 16.
Information provided to investigators indicates that the group was enroute from California to visit relatives in Ellensburg, Wash. for the holiday.
No citations have been issued. The investigation is being completed by members of the Oregon State Police The Dalles Area Command office. Wasco County Sheriff's Office and ODOT provided assistance at the scene. The highway was not closed.
The OSP and ODOT would like to remind everyone that during this time of the year weather and road conditions can change quickly, and unexpectedly.
- Give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination.
- Anticipate potential weather and road condition changes, avoiding sudden turns that may cause loss of control on slick roads.
- Use safety belts and child safety seats.
- Call 5-1-1 for road conditions, and visit www.TripCheck.com for road and weather conditions, incidents, and links to cameras on many mountain passes and major routes.