Driver reached to adjust radio causing car to leave the road, plow through fence

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Eduardo Lopez reached to adjust the radio resulting in his vehicle leaving the roadway on Northwest O'Neil Highway.On Wednesday, at approximately 4:47 p.m., the driver of a 2007 Dodge Caliber lost control of his vehicle on Northwest O'Neil Highway, near milepost 7, resulting in injuries.

According to the Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Eduardo Pelayo Lopez, 20, of Prineville, was traveling eastbound when he reached to adjust the volume on his radio. The vehicle then left the south side of the highway. It's thought that the driver overcorrected, causing the vehicle to cross both lanes of traffic. The vehicle then left the north side of the highway, where it rolled down an embankment and over a fence. The vehicle came to a rest on all four wheels.

When deputies arrived on the scene, Lopez was still seated in the driver’s seat.

Lopez was transported by Airlink helicopter to St. Charles Hospital in Bend with life-threatening injuries.

Sergeant Travis Jurgens said that the driver was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, and that the airbags did not deploy.

The CCSO was assisted at the scene by Crook County Fire and Rescue, Redmond Fire and Rescue and personnel from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

No citations have been issued, but it has been determined that Lopez did not have valid driving privileges at the time of the crash.

Jurgens noted that neither alcohol nor speed appeared to be factors in the crash, and that the cause of the accident was inattentive driving.

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