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43-Year-Old Man Killed in Single Vehicle Crash Identified


Date: June 21, 2011
Location: Highway 26, near milepost 91, west of Warm Springs
Name: William Todd Lea

Oregon State Police confirmed on Wednesday that the 43-year-old man killed in a single vehicle crash on Tuesday afternoon was William Todd Lea, of the Eugene area.

OSP Sergeant Keith Taylor said that state troopers were called by Warm Springs police at around 4 p.m. Tuesday and asked to investigate the fatal crash of a 2006 Mazda pickup truck. Taylor said the truck was eastbound on Highway 26 when, at approximately 3:25 p.m., the Mazda suddenly veered across the westbound lane, left the north shoulder of the highway and crashed into several large boulders.

Warm Springs Fire Department and members of Oregon Department of Transport called to the scene, and Lea was rushed by ground ambulance to Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center, but he was pronounced dead before an AirLink helicopter could fly him to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. Lea had been wearing a seat belt, Taylor said, and was being followed by a friend at the time of the accident. Warm Springs Police Department and OSP officers from the Madras work site are continuing to investigate the causes of the accident.

We would like to extend our sincere sympathy to the family and friends of William Lea, on their tragic loss.

Accidents like this always pose a number of questions that seem incredibly difficult to answer. Some observers will assume the driver fell asleep at the wheel, or stopped paying attention for some other reason, or that he was suddenly distracted, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. And perhaps that is exactly what happened. But there are many other possibilities as well.

Poor road conditions may have caused this wreck – for all we know, there may have been a large pothole that he was swerving to avoid; maybe poor road conditions have already caused three accidents on this stretch of road. If that is the case, there may be a lawsuit available against the city/county/state. Such a lawsuit would allow the deceased person’s family to receive compensation and hopefully help prevent future accidents on that stretch of road. Maybe the pickup was recently brought in for a tune-up, and the mechanic replaced the steering mechanism carelessly, and the truck lost steering. These things happen, and when someone is seriously injured or tragically killed, a competent Portland car accident attorney can investigate and find out what happened. Usually at no cost. For more information on what to do in the case of an Oregon accident, contact our office or read 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case.