JULY 15, 2010

U-turn leads to logging truck wreck

   A logging truck crash near Lewiston July 7 was caused by a u-turn, according to an Idaho State Police (ISP) report.

   Clarence, Turek, 84, of Culdesac was northbound on US95 in the right-hand lane at approximately 4:57 p.m. July 7. Beside him, in the left-hand lane, was Richard A. Donner, 52, of Orofino, driving a loaded 1995 Western Semi Tractor logging truck.

   According to ISP, Donner saw Turek’s 1994 Toyota Pickup slowing down, and assumed he planned to make a right-hand turn. Instead, near milepost 308, Turek made a u-turn across both lanes, whereupon the log truck impacted the rear right side of Turek’s pickup.

   Donner took evasive action, his load of logs shifted, and the tractor trailer flipped onto its side and lost its load, according to ISP. The truck came to rest blocking both lanes of traffic.

   Turek continued another 50 to 60 feet down an embankment and came to rest against a barbed wire fence, according to ISP.

   North and southbound traffic was blocked for nearly 2.5 hours and re-routed onto Hatwai Bypass.

   Turek and Donner both sustained injury and were both taken to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston.  Both drivers were wearing seatbelts.

   ISP Tpr. Gilbertson was the investigating officer, with assistance from Cpl. Smith, Sgt. Rouse, and Nez Perce County Sheriff.