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Bull rider killed in auto accident

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webfoot

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That is terrible. We watched them ride Thursday afternoon. I looked it up as we took I-84 to go home (east). The wreck occurred west of Pendleton almost to the Echo exit. That is wide open straight stretch of freeway with a little bit of rolling hills. One has to wonder why an accident would occur there. Too tired? Too fast? Talking or texting on phone? More rodeo cowboys get killed on the highway than ever do in the arena.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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That is terrible. We watched them ride Thursday afternoon. I looked it up as we took I-84 to go home (east). The wreck occurred west of Pendleton almost to the Echo exit. That is wide open straight stretch of freeway with a little bit of rolling hills. One has to wonder why an accident would occur there. Too tired? Too fast? Talking or texting on phone? More rodeo cowboys get killed on the highway than ever do in the arena.
Update: According to police, the Jetta approached the truck in the slow lane, drove into it, and became wedged underneath. A chute extending from the back of the potato truck struck and killed Schleicher.

Hopefully, the two survivors can fill in the blanks why they rear-ended the potato truck. I am guessing they approached it too fast and were unable to change lanes and braking was futile. I am also guessing that the truck was moving a lot slower than the driver thought. A loaded potato truck can really get slowed down on those hills. The driver was the Utah kid. I pray for him as such a tragedy will be difficult to live with. Making a misjudgment that causes an accident is bad enough but since it took the life of a friend, that is going to be the hardest ride of his life.

Also, exit 193 is for Echo Road which is just outside of Pendleton and different than the Echo/Hermiston exit. Echo Road is the scenic and long way into Echo. Beautiful drive. Apparently, they were headed to a rodeo in Washington on Friday. That explains why they were headed west.

Update: Schleicher’s father, Harold Schleicher, said his son kept a busy rodeo schedule. This was his first time riding at Pendleton and he planned to hit another rodeo in Washington on Friday, followed by one in Utah on Saturday.
 
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webfoot

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I went through there today. I was looking for but didn't see any skid marks or paint that the state police put down at accident scenes. When you top the rise it is a mile and a half that you can see very well. The Echo exit/on ramp is at the bottom of the dip. Maybe the potato truck was getting on the freeway. That would make it going up the hill and just getting on the freeway so it wouldn't be moving fast.
Another thought I had was the idea that the truck had very poor tail lights. This was after dark.. We all know that harvest trucks are all in tip top condition........ I did pass a potato truck on the freeway near there today. I looked. It only had 2 tail lights and they weren't very big. One was partially hidden behind the hydraulics to run the walking floor.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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The most detailed report released so far has the accident in the eastbound lane, east of exit 193 which would be entry to the freeway from old Hwy 320 or Echo Road. Exit 193 is 4.68 miles from 188, the Stanfield exit. This would place the accident about 5 miles east of the Pilot Travel Center off of the Stanfield/Echo exit. The time has been established as 8:15 PM.

The trucking company that Ediberto Carrillo was driving for hasn't been released to the public yet. There are three main potato trucking companies near Hermiston. The truck could have entered I 84 from several exits starting at 177 which connects I 82 to I 84. This is a common route for potato trucks coming from the Plymouth/Patterson farm area. The origin of the haul hasn't been released yet.

All that has been released is the location, time, and that the east bound truck was in the slow lane and the Jetta ran into the back of it. One was killed (by the chute) and two seriously injured. Everything else is speculation. I can't find any info on the two survivors' current condition. The paramedics and law enforcement I know are being very tight-lipped which indicates to me there is an ongoing investigation. We have a trucking company to consider that has insurance and lawyers, we have a commercial driver that may be a factor, and we have three young men and their families to consider.

While rear-ending is considered to be the rear-enders fault, as WF pointed out, most potato trucks aren't well lit from the rear and sometimes very poorly maintained. Also was the chute properly secured? Did the driver have a valid commercial license? Then we must consider if the driver of the Jetta was speeding, perhaps remembering they forgot something needed for the next day's Washington rodeo and turned around. Was he impaired in any way? None of this has been released yet as is common with an accident like this.
 
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