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St. Helens crash sends driver to hospital

Man, 72, struck parked car along Columbia Blvd.


by: PHOTO COURTESY OF TRENT DOLYNIUK - Emergency responders at the scene of a crash on Columbia Boulevard in St. Helens Tuesday, Dec. 17. St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss said David Everaert, 72, drove into a parked car with enough force to overturn it after apparently experiencing a medical emergency. Everaert was hospitalized in Portland after the collision.Police said a 72-year-old Columbia City man was hospitalized Tuesday, Dec. 17, after his Mercedes-Benz veered off the right-of-way on Columbia Boulevard in St. Helens and struck a parked car with enough force to tip it onto its side.

St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss said a witness reported that James Everaert appeared to lose control of his car and crashed into the parked Land Rover Discovery near the intersection of Columbia Boulevard and 19th Street in the Houlton district “with literally no warning.”

The circumstances of the crash led police to believe Everaert experienced a medical emergency that caused him to lose control.

“It sounds like he had some sort of medical condition,” Moss said. “Whether he blacked out or passed out, we’re not sure, but he just veered off the roadway and drove into the side of that car.”

“It tipped it over, so it was a pretty spectacular crash,” said Jay Tappan, chief of Columbia River Fire and Rescue, which responded to the scene.

Moss said there were no skid marks or other indications Everaert attempted to brake or steer away from the Land Rover, which is owned by St. Helens resident Kelly Dolyniuk, before impact.

The crash left the Land Rover overturned and the front of the Mercedes-Benz crushed.

Kelly Dolyniuk’s husband Trent expressed dismay over the crash, as well as relief that no bystanders were injured, on Facebook, where he posted several pictures of the wreck.

“I had just finished having the engine rebuilt and all the bells and whistles repaired go figure,” Trent Dolyniuk wrote.

Moss had no information on Everaert’s condition beyond that he was transported from the scene of the crash to a Portland hospital for treatment.