A traffic crash involving a motorcycle and a pickup truck two miles south of Vernonia is under investigation by the Oregon State Police. The crash occurred just before 5:30 p.m. on May 20, and resulted in a man being flown to a Portland area hospital.
According to the Oregon State Police, the crash occurred at 5:26 p.m., when Justin M. Reina 28, of Hillsboro traveled northbound near mile post 66, on a 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX600 motorcycle. Witnesses told police that Reina initiated a high-speed pass of a passenger vehicle on a short, straight section of the highway.
Karen Morrison, 52, of Vernonia, was driving a 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup ahead of the car that Reina was attempting to pass, with one passenger. Morrison started a signaled left turn into her driveway as Reina tried to pass the truck. The Kawasaki Ninja crashed into the driver’s side door of Morrison’s truck.
Reina was ejected off the motorcycle and came to rest a short distance in front of the pickup.
A local resident heard the crash, ran to the scene and found Reina wearing a protective helmet, but unresponsive and not breathing. The resident repositioned Reina and opened his airway allowing him to start breathing. Vernonia Fire Department and Metro West Ambulance personnel responded to the scene. Reina was transported by LifeFlight to Oregon Health & Science University, where the Oregon State Police report that he is in critical condition.
Morrison sustained minor injury but declined emergency medical transport. Her husband and passenger was also uninjured. Both were using seatbelts.
OSP Senior Trooper Mark McDougal and Recruit Trooper Darrin LaDick are investigating the crash.
The Vernonia Police Department and Oregon Department of Transportation assisted the OSP at the scene. The highway was intermittently closed for two hours during the investigation.