Police investigating salmon truck wreck
December 31, 2014
Preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 2:50 p.m., a westbound Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) fish delivery tanker driving on the McKenzie Highway was loaded with 11,000 Chinook salmon smolts and water. The vehicle was headed to the Row River near Cottage Grove where they were to be released.
The fish were being transferred as a result of low water concerns at McKenzie Hatchery caused by floodgate malfunctions at Leaburg Dam, which provides water to the hatchery.
As the driver, identified as Ray C. Lewis, 45, of Umpqua Oregon, was negotiating a curve the vehicle went off the roadway and crashed into a power pole and some trees. The truck overturned and spilled its contents at the roadside. All of the fish being transported died as a result of the crash.
Lewis suffered facial and scalp lacerations and was transported to the hospital for treatment of other unknown injuries. Alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor in this incident and an additional investigation is pending. OSP is being assisted by the Lane County District Attorney's Office.
McKenzie River Reflections