Crash, Highway 47, News

Forest Grove man killed in crash between Banks and Forest Grove

The Oregon State Police said a Forest Grove resident was killed between Banks and Forest Grove on Highway 47 Thursday morning. 

According to a press release from the state’s top law enforcement agency, OSP troopers and other emergency personnel responded to a crash at 11:04 a.m. north of the Kemper Road and Highway 47 intersection. 

One vehicle was involved, OSP said. The driver, Leo Vanderzanden, 70, of Forest Grove, was pronounced dead at the scene by Forest Grove Fire & Rescue personnel.

What OSP described as a preliminary investigation—which kept the highway linking Banks and Forest Grove closed for more than three hours—was conducted at the scene.

That investigation revealed that Vanderzanden, driving north on the highway, drifted onto the right shoulder of the highway where it bends near milepost 87.

“The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it left the roadway, hitting the ditch and becoming airborne striking several trees,” OSP said.

The vehicle eventually stopped on the northbound lane shoulder. 

Also aiding at the scene were the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Forest Grove Police Department, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, and the Washington County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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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