One dead in Hwy. 7 accident

By Baker City Herald May 30, 2012 09:05 am

A Pendleton woman was killed and a Walla Walla woman was critically injured when their two motorcycles were struck by a pickup truck as they were traveling along Highway 7 near Baker City about 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Leta Louise Currey, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene about one mile west of the Highway 245 junction, about nine miles south of Baker City, according to an Oregon State Police press release.

Currey and Joanne Mohrland, 53, were traveling with their husbands in a string of four motorcycles when the crash happened, police said.

The group was riding toward Sumpter when a 1994 Nissan pickup truck driven by Derrick A. Coates, 24, of Baker City, who was driving in the opposite direction, came upon the four motorcycles.

Police said Coates’ pickup passed the lead motorcycle, driven by Currey’s husband, and then crossed the center line where it collided with Leta Currey’s motorcycle and then hit Mohrland’s motorcycle.

 Mohrland was flown by LifeFlight to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Mohrland’s husband was operating the fourth motorcycle, which was not hit.

Mohrland was listed in critical condition Monday at the Boise hospital, police said. An update was not available in time for this story.

Coates received minor injuries that did not require treatment at a hospital, police said.

The motorcyclists were wearing helmets. Police have not determined whether Coates was wearing a seat belt.

OSP troopers from the Baker City Area Command office are continuing the investigation with the assistance of an OSP collision reconstructionist.

No charges have been filed.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by members of the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Baker City Police Department, a Baker City ambulance crew and Oregon Department of Transportation workers.

Highway 7 was closed until 5:55 p.m. Monday because of the investigation, police said.