Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, January 8 2014 at 4:28 PM, Updated: Wed, January 15 2014 at 12:41 AM
A man was taken to a Portland hospital following a bad accident east of Klamath Falls this morning.
Icy conditions were a factor in the crash.
Susan House says she heard the crash in front of her home on Highway 140 just after 6:30 A.M...
"It appears that the truck jackknifed, and the pickup hit the truck and slid underneath, and got pinned."
68 year old Thomas Wayne Gardner of Dairy was unable to stop in time, and his pickup truck smashed into the trailer.
Battalion Chief Scott Brainard of Klamath County Fire District #1: "The patient was trapped for a significant amount of time, as we lifted up the trailer and did an extrication."
Truck driver Steve Lanza of Cottonwood, California wasn't hurt in the crash.
Trooper Aaron Boyce notes that Lanza lost control on the icy highway...
"The rear trailer started to fishtail, and the driver lost control of the vehicle."
Gardner was trapped in the wreckage for nearly an hour before he was flown to Sky Lakes Medical Center.
Meanwhile, Susan House says the stretch of road is a bad one...'
"Well, there's a bad corner on this end, and it's a straight stretch - and everybody seems to come around that corner, and speed up a little bit."
And House hopes the accident will remind drivers to slow down, and stay safe.
Icy conditions also caused numerous slide-offs on Highway 97 north of Klamath Falls.
State Police say two people were injured when their semi slid off of Highway 97 just north of Gilchrist.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.