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Investigation continues into fatal Sunday bicycle crash near Hood River

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into Sunday morning's fatal bicycle-involved crash that resulted in the death of a 52-year old Mosier resident along westb ound Interstate 84 at the Viento State Park interchange west of Hood River. The names of the victim and driver are released in this update. The completed investigation will be forwarded to the Hood River County District Attorney's Office for review and consideration of enforcement action.

On August 24, 2014 at approximately 6:20 a.m., ELLEN DITTEBRANDT, age 52, from Mosier, was riding a bicycle westbound along Interstate 84 approaching the off ramp near milepost 56 to Viento State Park. A 2014 Ford pickup driven by JOHN C. ALLMAN, age 55, from NW Portland, was also traveling westbound when it traveled onto the shoulder and struck the bicycle from behind, ejecting DITTEBRANDT to where she came to rest in the left westbound lane. The pickup came to rest in the westbound traffic lanes.

DITTEBRANDT, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced deceased at the scene. She was a Mosier firefighter/EMT and a local artist, and in 2010 selected as Mosier's firefighter of the year.

ALLMAN was not injured and is cooperating with the investigation.

OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Senior Trooper Mike Holloran is the lead investigator. Driver fatigue has been identified as a contributing factor. Daylight conditions existed at the time of the crash and traffic was light.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Hood River County Sheriff's Office, Cascade Locks Fire Department, and ODOT. The westbound lanes were closed about 90 minutes before one lane was open while investigators continued working at the scene.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates each year drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries, with 55% of these crashes involving drivers 25 years old and younger. Drowsiness causes: slow reaction times, impaired judgment and vision, decline in attention, decreased alertness, increased moodiness and aggressive behavior, problems with processing information and short term memory.

OSP & ODOT urges all travelers to remain alert for all highway users, including vulnerable users such as bicyclists and pedestrians, and to watch for early warning signs of fatigue. ODOT has posted on their website safety information related to drowsy driving including signs of fatigue and tips of what to do if you are getting drowsy while driving at:

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/Pages/news/Drowsy_Driving.aspx

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