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UPDATED: Colton fire chief injured in crash

by: OSP - Colton Fire Chief injured in two-car crash Thursday night.Colton Fire Chief Richard Beaudoin sustained minor injuries in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 211 late Thursday night.

Oregon State Police are investigating the crash west of Molalla that occured when Beaudoin, 49, swerved to avoid a potential head-on collision with an oncoming car that had drifted across the center line.

OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings said that at about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, July 24, Beaudoin was traveling southbound on Highway 211 near milepost 6 in the Colton Fire Department's marked 1990 GMC Yukon when he reportedly took evasive action to avoid an unidentified passenger car coming into his traffic lane from the opposite direction.

by: OSP - Colton Fire Department vehicle involved in Thursday night collision. “Chief Beaudoin drove onto the shoulder, lost control and crashed into the embankment on the east side of the highway facing northbound in the southbound lane,” Hastings said. “Chief Beaudoin wasn't able to move his vehicle due to damage and got outside about the same time a southbound 1998 Honda Accord with two occupants crested a hill and crashed into the front of the GMC Yukon.”

Beaudoin on Friday said that he was on his way home from a drill at the Colton station when the accident occured.

"Suddenly, a dark compact with tinted windows crossed the center line into my lane," Beaudoin said. "I honked, but it kept coming farther into my lane. I decided to do the ‘ditch thing’ instead of hitting head on.”

Beaudoin said the driver of the dark compact "made no attempt to get back in his own lane or to stop."

After the initial impact into the embankment, Beaudoin said his training as both a firefighter and an EMT kicked in. Although people in motor vehicle accidents often are told to remain still because of the potential for neck injuries, he determined that his injuries were minor and decided to get out of his truck.

He said both doors of the Yukon were damaged and he couldn’t get either one open so he crawled out the back.

“Just as I got out and dropped to the ground, a car driving west bound slammed into the rig," Beaudoin said. "It hit right where I had been sitting just a few moments before.”

Beaudoin said that there are cameras at the intersection of Highway 211 and 99E in Woodburn and he is working with the Oregon State Police to try and get copies of the film. He is hoping they will be able to identify the vehicle and get the license plate number.

Beaudoin said he is stiff and very sore, but happy it wasn’t worse. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was treated and released for minor injuries. He was using safety restraints and his vehicle's airbags deployed, police said.

The Accord’s driver, Daniel Schrock, 54, from Harrisburg, and an adult male passenger were not injured.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and Monitor Rural Fire Protection District.

-- Colton correspondent Cindy Fama contributed to this report.