Oregon Coast Driver Takes Down Road Closure Barrier, Plunges Headfirst Into Highway Hole

tillamook car crash, highway sinkhole, oregon, stupid driving, road closure, tillamook county sheriff's office
Image via Tillamook County Sheriff's Office

As the old adage goes: play stupid games, win stupid prizes (and potentially a car fire).

As reported by the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office, on January 21, 2024, at 8:22 am, Deputy Ben Berger, alongside Oregon State Trooper Jon King, Nestucca Fire, and Tillamook Ambulance, responded to a distress call reporting a car overturned and ablaze in the slide area on Sandlake Rd. The occupants had already fled the scene by the time law enforcement arrived.

tillamook car crash, highway sinkhole, oregon, stupid driving, road closure, tillamook county sheriff's office, car fire
Tillamook County Sheriff's Office

Deputy Berger stated, “The road has been closed for some time, but they removed the barrier and road closed signs and drove directly into the hole. This has been an ongoing problem, with people removing the barriers and driving on the closed portion of the road. Obviously, it is extremely dangerous.”

Approximately an hour after the crash, the vehicle owner contacted 911 to report the car stolen during the early morning hours. The owner's residence was around five miles away from the crash site. The investigation into the crash and reported auto theft remains ongoing. If you possess any information regarding this incident, please contact Deputy Ben Berger at 503-815-3392.

tillamook car crash, highway sinkhole, oregon, stupid driving, road closure, tillamook county sheriff's office, car fire
Tillamook County Sheriff's Office

It should go without saying, but as per the Tillamook County Public Works Facebook page, a stern warning is issued: "Do Not move the concrete barriers, cut the chains, etc."

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A contractor is slated to be on-site during the week of January 29th, 2024, to stabilize the uphill lane. The road is anticipated to reopen by the end of March.