Buxton, Crash, Fire

Banks Fire responds to vehicle crash, downed tree, vehicle fire, and brush fire – all at the same incident

The entrance to Stub Stewart State Park. Photo: Chas Hundley

BUXTON – Banks Fire District 13 and Metro Ambulance West responded to a vehicle crash, a vehicle fire, a downed tree, and a brush fire on Monday night.

It was all tied to one incident, first called in at 11:31 p.m. near Stub Stewart State Park.

According to Danny DiPietro, Communications Sergeant with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, an 18-year-old female driver crashed her 2002 Chevy Trailblazer into a tree near the Stub Stewart State Park entrance on Highway 47.

The tree fell across Highway 47, causing a road closure near the midnight hour as crews cleaned up the mess, per the Banks Fire District.

A spokesperson from the family of the driver says the Banks Fire District’s account differs from that of the driver, who says she swerved to miss a tree that was already in the road, striking a separate tree which then caught fire along with the vehicle.

The Trailblazer caught fire, which then spread, causing a 1/4 acre brush fire, according to Banks Fire District spokesperson Mitch Ward.

The driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, was transported via Metro West Ambulance to an area hospital with minor injuries.

The region is under a red flag warning as temperatures shoot into the upper 90’s, dry winds blow, and the relative humidity plummets.

In a message to the Banks Post, Ward reiterated that the cause of the crash was not known, and did not want to infer a potential cause, but that the crash was an opportunity to highlight the importance of attentive driving, wearing seatbelts, and maintaining a safe speed for the current driving conditions.

This story has been updated with a statement from the family of the driver.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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