Featured Stories

Happy Valley woman killed in I-84 chain-reaction crash

Oregon State Police troopers continue to investigate a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 84 west of Cascade Locks that killed a Happy Valley-area woman and injured three others on Sunday afternoon, March 27.

Vicky Ann Bankhardt, 33, of Happy Valley, was pronounced dead at the scene of the chain-reaction wreck that happened around 5:40 p.m. Sunday.

Mark Edward Taylor, 20, of Edmonds, Wash., and his passengers, Alison M. Maclean, 20, of Nampa, Idaho, and Dejon D. Bowman, 20, of Tumwater, Wash., were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland to treat minor injuries.

Traffic on I-84 near milepost 42 was briefly stopped in both westbound lanes. The roadway was wet, and it was raining.

The initial investigation indicates Taylor was driving a 1992 Acura Vigor four-door westbound in the right lane at freeway speeds, said Oregon State Police Trooper Jason Calloway.

Taylor reportedly didn't see that traffic ahead was stopped, and his vehicle crashed into back of the 1992 Geo Metro two-door Bankhardt was driving, pushing the Geo into the back of a 1990 Ford Econoline van. This created a chain-reaction crash involving four other vehicles that were stopped in both westbound lanes.

William R. Closner, 75, of Stevenson, Wash., and four other drivers were not injured. They later drove their vehicles from the scene.

Maclean and Bowman were not wearing seat belts.

The wreck and subsequent investigation closed one lane of the freeway for three hours Sunday evening.

Oregon State Police troopers from The Dalles Area Command office are investigating with assistance from the Hood River County District Attorney's Office. No citations have been issued, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Hood River County Sheriff's Office, Cascade Locks Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation assisted State Police troopers at the scene.