Truck rolls into Columbia River, and driver survives

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SCHAWANA — Richard Hearron of Outlook may be thanking his lucky stars after the stroke of good fortune he experienced near here Monday afternoon.

Driving “too fast for conditions,” according to the Washington State Patrol, Hearron, 44, lost control of the truck he was driving, and it ended up in the Columbia River.

The good fortune was that the tractor stayed dry. According to the WSP, only the container the truck was carrying hit the water. It separated from the trailer and floated downriver with a load of apples. Grant PUD personnel secured it.

The crash occurred near milepost 18 on Highway 243, about a mile and a half south of Schawana at about 2 p.m. The WSP didn’t report the extent of Hearron’s injuries, but he was taken by ambulance to the Quincy Valley Medical Center.

According to the WSP, Hearron was southbound in a white 2000 Freightliner semi and trailer when he lost control. He failed to negotiate a left-hand curve near the river.

The truck left the roadway to the right, rolled down the embankment and stopped with the trailer in the river. The cargo container full of apples separated from the trailer and floated away.

The wreckage was removed by Davis Towing of Schawana. Hearron was cited for “speed too fast for conditions” by the WSP.

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