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Longview man killed in Rainier crash

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF OREGON STATE POLICE - Mark Ross Vanzanten, 41, of Longview,  was killed after driving his truck off an off-ramp of the Lewis and Clark Bridge. His vehicle is pictured at center.A Longview man was killed in a car crash Friday, Jan. 10, at about 11:30 p.m. on an eastbound off-ramp of the Lewis and Clark bridge in Rainier. Oregon State Police officials say they are still investigating the crash.

Mark Ross Vanzanten, 41, approached the off-ramp from the west at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his 2002 Chevrolet S10 pickup, went airborne off a sharp bend in the road, slammed into a rock embankment and flipped over.

“He was entering the curve, continued straight off the roadway, hit a rock wall and the vehicle overturned,” said OSP Public Information Officer Gregg Hastings.

Officers pronounced Vanzanten dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to an OSP press release

“The cause of the crash has not been confirmed," Hastings said. "A toxicology test will be done, but that takes many weeks. We won't have the results back for a long time to see if there was any impairment.”

Rainier Police Chief Gregg Griffith said crashes at the eastbound off-ramp are often caused by drivers traveling at high speeds.

OSP responded to the scene with assistance from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, the Rainier Police Department and the Rainier Fire Department.