Police: Trucker may not have known crash killed flagger

Police: Trucker may not have known crash killed flagger
Photo Courtesy Oregon State Police

WOLF CREEK, Ore. - A commercial truck driver who struck a construction worker may not have known that a crash caused a death in a construction zone on Interstate 5, Oregon State Police said.

On Wednesday just after 1:00 pm, a 1994 Freightliner truck pulling a semi-trailer driven by Jose  Guadalupe Botello Sr., 58, of Salem, was traveling on Interstate 5 near milepost 76 in the right northbound lane.

An employee for Knife River Corporation working on a paving project stopped a pickup and arrow board trailer on the right shoulder with overhead caution lights and emergency flashers activated.

The employee, Kathleen Roberta Wilson, 60, of Trail, was outside of the pickup breaking down a portable sign standing in the grass next to the guardrail on the opposite side of the freeway.

As the Freightliner truck approached the parked pickup and trailer, it traveled across the right fog light and sideswiped the trailer and pickup.

The impacted caused a portion of the trailer to go over the top of the guardrail and strike Wilson.

State police say that Botello was unaware that someone was injured, and pulled off the freeway at a nearby interchange, stopping at a fueling station.

Troopers say Botello ran back to the scene and was contacted by an OSP trooper.

Officials say the man, who was driving for Tree Line Transportation Inc. out of Turner, Oregon, has cooperated in the investigation.

State police say no enforcement decision expected until investigation is completed and reviewed by the district attorney's office.