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Prineville man seriously injured in UTV crash


A 29-year-old Prineville man was seriously injured Saturday in the crash of a side-by-side UTV (utility task vehicle) on a private ranch north of Prineville where he works, Crook County sheriff’s deputies said Monday.

Deputies and Crook County Fire and Rescue medics were sent around 2:30 p.m. to McKay Creek Road near the intersection with Gerke Road on a report of an ATV crash and the sole occupant with a severe head injury, Sgt. Chris Estes said in a news release.

An investigation determined that Joe Beers, an employee of the ranch, had failed to check in that morning, prompting ranch personnel to begin searching the area and find the crash, Estes said. The crash had occurred several hours earlier and Beers was unable to summon help.

An initial investigation found that Beers was traveling in the UTV on an unimproved dirt road and failed to negotiate a curve. The UTV traveled about five feet down an embankment and rolled in the bottom of a dry creek bed.

Beers was not wearing a helmet or seat belt at the time of the crash, the sergeant said.

Crook County medics took Beers by ambulance to St. Charles Prineville with serious injuries. Eses said he was then flown to St. Charles Bend, where officials said he was in fair condition Monday.

“The Crook County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that using available safety equipment can significantly reduce injuries in the event of a crash,” Estes wrote.

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