Wednesday morning's cold weather sends motorists sliding into the ditches
Ice wreaked havoc on the morning commute in western Washington County Wednesday, killing Brian Herinckx, 50, of Cornelius, in a head-on collision at the intersection of Cornelius-Schefflin Road and Long Road north of Cornelius (map).
The fatal crash occurred at about 8:15 a.m. this morning, when Herinckx's 1985 Nissan pickup was struck head-on by a 1995 Ford Mustang driven by Jose Louis Arroyo Jr., 24, of Cornelius.
Police say that Arroyo was northbound on Cornelius-Schefflin Road, which was covered in black ice. Arroyo lost control of his Mustang, which crossed over the center line and struck Herinckx's truck head-on.
Both vehicles sustained heavy damage, and Arroyo had to be extricated from his vehicle. Herinckx was pronounced dead at the scene. The seatbelt in his truck was damaged but it wasn't clear to officers whether he was wearing it at the time of the crash and it failed then, or if it had been cut previously.
LifeFlight helicopter was standing by to transport Arroyo, but after he was extricated, it was clear his injuries were not life-threatening.
Arroyo was cited with three traffic violations in connection to the crash: careless driving, failure to maintain lane and violation of the basic rule.
Sgt. Dave Thompson, sheriff's office spokesman, said that
deputies estimate Arroyo was driving 40 miles-per-hour at the time of the crash. The stretch of Cornelius-Schefflin Road has no posted speed limit, but instead by Oregon's "basic rule," which calls on drivers to drive a safe speed for the current road conditions.
Thompson said ice covered the western half of the county and much of downtown Hillsboro Wednesday morning, causing a number of crashes. Thompson said that one other crash victim was transported by LifeFlight helicopter from a wreck near the intersection of Evergreen Road and 25th Avenue, near the Hillsboro Airport.
South of North Plains, a Hummer H2 smashed into a tree near the intersection of Beach Road and Glencoe Road just south of the Glencoe Road and Highway 26 interchange.
Thompson also reported a rollover accident at the intersection of Winters Road and Blooming Fernhill Road south of Cornelius, and said a number of other head-on collisions occurred without major injuries.
'The ice developed quickly (Wednesday) morning,' Thompson said.