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A preliminary investigation of the crash scene has determined the 2001 Ford F350 crew cab pickup was driving westbound on China Hat Road near milepost 13. The unlicensed sixteen year old driver lost control of the pickup and left the roadway. The pickup then went head-on into a juniper tree just off the roadway edge. At the time of the crash, three of the seven occupants inside the cab of the truck were wearing seatbelts. An eighth occupant in the bed of the truck was ejected out of the truck during the crash.
Evidence at the scene has determined the truck was speeding and being driven recklessly at the time of the crash. Marijuana impairment is also being investigated as a contributing factor.
The sixteen year old driver of yesterday’s crash has been cited and released on the following charges: Assault III - Two counts, Assault IV - Four counts, Recklessly Endangering Another - Seven counts, Reckless Driving – One count. The driver has been released from the hospital.
The eight occupants of the truck are all students of Marshall High School and Mt. View High School in Bend. As of this afternoon, three of the vehicle’s occupants are still in the hospital in critical condition.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the quick response and efforts of the US Forest Service firefighters who were in the area and responded to the crash scene. Their quick medical aid, in conjunction with the Air Link and Life Flight air ambulances that responded to the scene, has ensured the best possible outcome from this crash.
This investigation is ongoing.
PREVIOUS RELEASE- On June 8, 2018, at about 2:50 pm, deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported injury motor vehicle crash on China Hat Road, near milepost 13. Deputies, along with US Forest Service and Bend Fire Department resources responded to the area. Additionally, two air ambulances were dispatched to the scene.
Two occupants, one male and one female, suffered serious, life threatening injuries as a result of the crash. Each was transported by air ambulance to St Charles Medical Center in Bend. The six other vehicle occupants were transported by ground ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.