Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
January 08, 2014
GRAND RONDE -- An Independence man died early on the morning of Jan. 7 in a log truck crash near Fire Hall Road about five miles south of Grand Ronde.
The driver of the truck was identified as Gary Kline, 39. He died at the scene.
According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the fully-loaded truck plunged off a logging road at about 5 a.m. Jan. 7 in very foggy conditions. However, the truck wasn't discovered until about four hours later when other log truck drivers spotted it when returning after dropping off their first loads of logs.
Police said Kline wasn't wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the truck as it slid down a steep embankment. Emergency crews arrived on the scene at about 10 a.m. to discover Kline had already died.
Due to the steep terrain and location of where the truck landed, recovery efforts took until the late afternoon. A rope and pulley system was needed to extricate Kline's body, which was about 100 yards from the road down the side of a hill.
West Valley Fire, Newberg Fire and Rescue, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Natural Resource employees, and numerous workers from the logging operations working in the area assisted with the recovery operation.
The truck was owned by Siletz Trucking of Independence.