Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
August 28, 2012
MONMOUTH -- A local pastor and former fire chief of Polk County Fire District No. 1 sustained critical injuries in a traffic crash just north of Monmouth on Thursday afternoon.
Rick Hopkins, 64, of Independence was taken off a breathing tube on Monday morning and underwent surgery on a fractured femur, said Bob Fraley, assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel, where Hopkins is senior pastor.
"He's headed in the right direction, but he's got a long road ahead of him," Fraley said. "He's going to have to have physical therapy for quite some time."
The incident happened at about 1:45 p.m. at the corner of Highway 99W and Hoffman Road, said Trooper Jim Plummer of the Oregon State Police.
Plummer said, according to witness statements, Hopkins was stopped at a red light at the intersection on a Honda C70 scooter.
Plummer said he then headed west across the highway before it had turned green, and was hit by Eduardo Rojo-Saavedra, 36, of Monmouth, who was southbound on Highway 99W in a Chevy sedan.
The scooter "wrapped up" against the driver's side of the car, then came to rest in the intersection, Plummer said.
Hopkins was transported by Polk No. 1 personnel to Salem Hospital. Hopkins sustained multiple fractures and a punctured lung, and was on a breathing tube for a few days, Fraley said.
On Monday, Fraley said Hopkins was conscious and able to speak with family members.
Hopkins was fire chief for Polk No. 1 from 1988 to 1995, and worked for 14 years with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.
He has been senior pastor at Calvary Chapel in Independence since 1999.