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OSP bomb squad called to Redmond pickup-semi crash


A pickup truck crossed the center line of Highway 97 in Redmond and struck a semi-truck head-on Wednesday afternoon, sending the pickup driver to the hospital.

Traffic was restricted for hours, as the Oregon State Police bomb squad was called in from Salem to investigate and remove suspicious, possibly explosive items in the pickup, troopers said.

Redmond police and fire medics responded to the head-on crash around 1:35 p.m. on the highway just north of Odem Medo Road, said Redmond Fire Marshal Traci Cooper.

Preliminary information indicates a silver Dodge 2500 pickup driven by Troy Schaffner, 23, of Redmond, was heading north on the highway when it crossed the center median “for undetermined reasons” and into the right-hand lane of southbound traffic, said OSP Lt. Josh Brooks.

The pickup collided head-on with a 2002 Freightliner semi-truck and driver, driven by Gabriel Perez, 44, of Imperial, Calif., Brooks said.

Schaffner was taken by ambulance to St. Charles Bend, where a nursing supervisor said he was in good condition early Wednesday evening. Perez was not injured, Brooks said, adding that both drivers were wearing seat belts and the pickup’s airbags deployed.

“First responders to the scene discovered suspicious items in the (pickup) similar to improvised explosive devices,” Brooks said in a news release. “OSP bomb technicians were called in from Salem to collect the devices and secure the scene.”

Traffic was restricted and delayed for several hours in the area, prompting detours and causing major backups. The highway was closed for several minutes while the OSP bomb technicians secured the devices in a trailer designed to contain explosives.

Cooper said a dog riding in the pickup was taken to a local veterinarian.

OSP’s Brooks said the cause of the crash was under investigation, along with a follow-up on the suspicious devices. More information will be released as available, he said.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Redmond police and fire medics, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies and ODOT.

NewsChannel 21’s Emily Kirk was on the crash and investigation scene and will have a full report tonight First at 10 on Fox.

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