Tribal Government & News

Multiple agencies respond to high-speed crash outside Grand Ronde

Photo from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Department of Emergency Services Facebook


By Kamiah Koch

Social media/digital journalist


In the early hours of Friday, May 24, Grand Ronde Tribal Police attempted to catch up to a speeding car on Highway 18. The driver of the vehicle was allegedly traveling at speeds exceeding 120 miles per hour.

When the driver attempted to take exit 18B, they lost control and the vehicle rolled several times.

The Grand Ronde Emergency Services Department posted on their Facebook page sharing information about the crash and the multiple agencies that responded. 

“The car left the roadway, drove through a field, became airborne and began to roll in an adjacent field,” the Facebook post said. “Upon CTGR Emergency Services arrival, the driver was found outside the vehicle, the car was on fire and the passenger was unable to get out of the vehicle on their own. Crews quickly extinguished the fire and extricated the passenger.”

Lifeflight was activated for one of the vehicle’s occupants and the other was taken to a nearby hospital via ambulance. Drones were used to search the surrounding area to ensure no other people were thrown from the vehicle.

According to Tribal Police Chief Jake McKnight, the vehicle occupants were not known to be Tribal members.

Road closures were reported by community Facebook groups but all lanes had reopened as of 6 a.m. Friday.

In the Facebook post, Grand Ronde Tribal Emergency Services thanked the multiple agencies that responded to the scene including Lifeflight, Grand Ronde Tribal Police, Oregon State Police, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Sheridan Fire District, Spirit Mountain Casino staff, Yamhill Communications Agency and Willamette Valley Communications Center.

“The whole team did a great job, including OSP, Polk County [Sheriff’s Office] and Salem Police Department,” Chief McKnight said.

The vehicle’s occupants were in critical condition following the crash and there is no new update at this time.