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Man crashes 'vette on purchase day

Criminal citation issued for reckless driving near Boring


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - Corvette driver Ethan Cross sits inside his car while he waits for PGE crews to remove the high-voltage wires that fell after Cross vehicle sheared off a power pole near Boring May 21, shutting off power from Boring to Oregon City.A Battle Ground, Wash., man’s view of a car crash differs significantly from Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies who investigated the May 21 accident near Boring.

Ethan Cross, 42, told deputies he was traveling less than the posted 45 mph limit when he lost control of his new Corvette on Highway 224 near Bakers Ferry Road, left the road and crashed into a power pole, shearing it off at the ground.

But Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Wurpes told The Post that members of the sheriff’s experienced crash reconstruction team disagreed with the driver’s view of the crash, stating in the incident report that speed and acceleration were factors in the crash.

“We talked with our crash reconstruction team,” Wurpes said, “and we were told that, based on past experience with similar vehicles in similar situations where a power pole has been sheared off and the team has done a complete technical reconstruction, the speed was estimated at between 75 and 90 mph.”

The 9 p.m. accident did not injure Cross but inflicted significant damage to the front end of the vehicle he had just purchased.

The fallen power lines prevented Cross from leaving the vehicle for more than an hour until Portland General Electric crews could ensure his safety. The crash left about 1,000 residences from Boring to Oregon City without power for about two hours.

Cross was issued a criminal citation for reckless driving and released at the scene.

Wurpes said the case has been submitted to the Clackamas County district attorney for review and prosecution.

This case is more than careless driving, Wurpes said, which only deserves a traffic citation.

“The difference is the level of recklessness,” he said. “Instead (of careless driving), the charge is reckless driving, which rises to the criminal level, and that’s why it goes to the DA.”