POLK COUNTY -- A man was seriously injured last week in a two-vehicle accident south of Independence.
Polk County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a crash at 3:42 p.m. on July 5 near the intersection of Corvallis and Buena Vista roads.
Michael Gregory, 47, of Salem headed northbound on Corvallis Road in a Ford Excursion. His children, ages, 5, 8 and 17, were passengers.
According to the sheriff's office, Gregory collided with a southbound Ford 150 pickup driven by Timothy Jackson of Corvallis after Jackson crossed the center line.
The Excursion caught fire afterward, though Gregory and his family escaped before the vehicle was engulfed. Jackson's truck continued through the intersection, left the road and rolled down a steep bank before coming to rest in several feet of standing water.
Polk County Fire District No. 1 medics treated the Gregorys for minor injuries not related.
Jackson was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis and later transported to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital in Portland. His condition was upgraded to fair on July 6.
The accident is still under investigation, though alcohol may have been a factor, Sheriff Bob Wolfe said. Officials were trying to determine how the Excursion caught on fire.