Ten contract firefighters were hospitalized after their van collided with an oncoming truck outside Prineville early Tuesday morning while they were in en route to the Briley Mountain wildfire near John Day. Nine of the ten firefighters who work with Salem-based Lava River Forestry were transported to nearby hospitals and released, a tenth Marcelino Cuesta Romero, 39, remains in critical condition at St. Charles Hospital in Bend.
According to the Oregon State Police, driver Jeremy Meisner, of Salem, fell asleep at the wheel, allowing the crew’s 2000 Chevrolet van to drift into the oncoming lane where it collided with a Freightliner truck driven Scott Ramage of Washington. The commercial truck raked the left side of the van of the van in what appears to be a collision that missed a true head-on impact by the narrowest of margins.
Neither Ramage or his passenger were injured in the accident. OSP cited Meisner for failing to remain within his lane.
Firefighters who were treated and released included:
* CHRISTOPHER REED, age 29, from Sheridan
* ROGELIA SAIMC, age 22, from Salem
* JESUS MEDERA, age 38, from Independence
* PEDRO LEMUS RAMOS, age 37, from Salem, treated and released for minor injuries
* MANUEL PEREZ ABRIZ, age 40, from Salem, treated and released for minor injuries
* JOVITA ROMERO (female), age 36, from Woodburn
* JOSE SALAS, age 20, from Salem
* JERSON MENDOZA, age 33, from Salem