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Deputies: Driver in Highway 126 crash fell asleep


A Salem man on his way home from a job in Central Oregon escaped serious injury Thursday afternoon when he apparently fell asleep at the wheel and his pickup hit the end of a guardrail on Highway 126 west of Redmond, causing it to flip end over end down an embankment, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

Deputies were dispatched around 3:35 p.m. to the reported rollover crash on the near milepost 100 in the Dry Canyon, said sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Dizney.

While en route, deputies learned the driver, James Betts II, 46, was able to remove himself from the pickup and had only a minor injury. No other vehicles were involved.

Dizney said Betts was driving a Dodge Ram pickup heading west and failed to negotiate a left-hand curve at the bottom of the Dry Canyon. It hit the end of a guardrail on the north side of the road, causing the pickup to flip end over end and come to rest on its top partially down an embankment.

The crash also severely damaged 30 to 40 feet of guardrail, Dizney said.

Alcohol drugs and speed don’t appear to be factors in the crash, as it’s believed Betts fell asleep at the wheel on the way back to Salem, the sergeant said.

ODOT and OSP assisted at the scene of the crash, which did not block the highway.

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