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Jan-07-2008 17:58printcomments

Early Morning Crash on Icy Road Severely Injures Teen Girl

Police say this tragic event should be a reminder to motorists to drive with due care, especially during the cold winter months.

Crash investigation

(SALEM, Ore.) - A fourteen year old girl sustained life threatening injuries in an early morning vehicle accident on Portland Road NE on the Interstate 5 overpass, police day.

When the crash happened, 14-year old Alma Garcia-Martinez was riding in the rear seat of a 2003 Ford Explorer being driven northbound at about 6:30 AM on Portland Road by her mother, Alma Rosa Olivares-Martinez, according to Lt. Dave Okada with Salem Police.

"Olivares-Martinez lost control of the vehicle on the icy overpass, slid into oncoming traffic and was struck by a southbound 1993 Toyota pickup truck being operated by 53 year old Jose Martinez," he said.

Alma Garcia-Martinez was riding in the backseat of the Ford Explorer, not wearing a safety belt, and sustained life threatening head injuries when she was thrown from her seat into the rear portion of the vehicle.

She was transported by ambulance to Salem Hospital and was later flown by helicopter to Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital.

Okada says the driver, Alma Rosa Olivares-Martinez and her fifteen year old son, who was riding in the right front seat of the vehicle, were both transported to Salem Hospital with minor injuries and were later released.

The driver of the second vehicle, Jose Martinez, was also transported to Salem Hospital with non life threatening injuries. No citations have been issued thus far in this investigation Okada said.

"This was the first of four accidents that occurred all within minutes at about the same location. There were no serious injuries in any of the other accidents, but the roadway remained closed for several hours while the vehicles were removed and the accidents investigated."

He says this tragic event should be a reminder to motorists to drive with due care, especially during the cold winter months.

"Overpasses often freeze and become very slippery when the rest of the roadways are not frozen, and extreme care should be taken around overpasses in the cold weather. Also, the use of safety restraint belts is not only mandatory, but has been proven to reduce injuries and save lives during traffic accidents."

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