Crash through guardrail awakened him, 2 feet from tragedy, sheriff says
MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A box truck driver fell asleep at the wheel Wednesday and almost drove off a high cliff on U.S. Highway 26 northwest of Madras, but crashing through the guardrail awakened him, Jefferson County Sheriff Marc Heckathorn said.
Deputies responded shortly before noon to the reported single-vehicle crash at milepost 110, “at the top of the grade,” about seven miles west of Madras, Heckathorn said.
The arriving deputy found the van had left the road, crashed through the guardrail and was sitting by the road’s south shoulder, having nearly gone off the cliff.
“I spoke to the driver, and he said he had fallen asleep and was awakened by the crash into the guardrail,” Heckathorn said in a Facebook post. “The driver was still visibly shaken from the ordeal but was uninjured.”
Oregon State Police and ODOT responded, the sheriff said, and OSP is investigating the crash.
“Very close (about two feet) from being a tragic crash,” Heckathorn wrote.