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Y-intersection crashes the result of failure to yield, not excessive speed on Hwy 211

Molalla Police Chief Rod Lucich said the two accidents at the Y-insection last week were because drivers leaving the Y-Market/Toad's Express Deli failed to yield to oncoming traffic, and not because of cars exceeding the 35 mph speed limit on that secton of Highway 211.


by: JIM BESEDA/MOLALLA PIONEER - Molalla Police Chief Rod Lucich (far right) inspects the scene of a two-car accident at the Y-intersection near the east end of Main Street on Friday, June 20 as emergency personnel with Molalla Rural Fire District No. 73 assist the driver of a Honda Accord that collided with a Dodge Ram 2500.Molalla Police Chief Rod Lucich is encouraging drivers to exercise reasonable caution when leaving the Y-Market/Toad’s Express Deli parking lot when merging with southbound traffic on Highway 211 following two separate accidents in five days at the well-traveled Y-intersection at the east end of downtown.

In both collisions, the drivers of trucks exiting Toad’s southern-most driveway allegedly failed to yield to oncoming cars traveling into town on Highway 211 near the east end of Main Street, Lucich said.

No serious injuries were reported in either accident, he added. Molalla Police investigated both accidents.

by: JIM BESEDA/MOLALLA PIONEER - This Ford Focus was severely damaged after a Chevy Tahoe pulling out of the parking lot at the Y-Market/Toad's Express Deli failed to yield about 5 p.m. Monday, June 16, police said.The first accident occurred shortly at 5 p.m. Monday, June 16, when a Chevy Tahoe S-500 with oversized tires leaving Toad’s collided with a Ford Focus, resulting in significant damage to the front end of the Ford.

After emergency personal arrived, the driver of the Ford complained of minor back pain and was taken by Molalla Fire District ambulance to Silverton Hospital, according to police reports.

On Friday, June 20, shortly before 10 a.m., a Dodge Ram 2500 pulled out of Toad’s and collided with a Honda Accord, demolishing the front end of the Honda, police said. The driver of the Honda complained of chest pain and was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital as a precaution and later released.

The speed limit on Highway 211 heading into town changes from 55 mph to 35 mph just past Shirley Street and about a quarter mile before the Y-intersection.

Speeding is not uncommon along that stretch of road, but Lucich said excessive speed was not a factor in either accident.

“Both situations were failure to yield by a person pulling out of Toad’s Market in front of vehicles … neither of them traveling at what witnesses would say were unreasonable speeds,” Lucich said. “These were just situations of drivers not being careful enough when they pulled out.

"As a general rule, on most of our ingresses into the city on Highway 213 and Highway 211, people do a pretty good job of slowing down.”

Lucich said the Chevy Tahoe driver was not cited at the time of the June 16 accident, but that the Dodge Ram driver was given a citation at the scene of Friday’s collision.

After an initial report and photos of Friday’s accident were posted on the Pioneer’s Facebook page, several readers posted comments that pointed to the propane tank and reader board in front of Toad’s that border the highway and obstruct not only the view of drivers exiting Toad’s, but also the view of drivers inbound on Highway 211.

Jerry Winningham wrote: “Toad’s needs to move some of that crap out of in front of the store by the road so people can see what is coming.”

Christina Conroy wrote: “I don't believe it has anything to do with the signs. I lived over that way for a long time. It is people not paying attention and driving too fast. I have seen so many people just blow right through the stop signs onto 211 & Mathias. At some point people need to be accountable and quit trying to place the blame somewhere else.”

Deb Leighton wrote: “Just hoping all involved are not hurt … doing okay …”

Lucich agreed that the propane tank and reader board could be seen as obstructions, but he then reiterated the need for caution when exiting Toad’s lot.

“The only thing that I can say, if you’re in a little bit of a hurry and you don’t give a good look and you pull out too early, that might be a mistake,” Lucich said. “Is the sign or the propane tank a factor? Maybe, if you’re in a hurry.

“But if you’re familiar with the area, you know if you stop and watch for a moment, you can see any traffic that is coming around the curb and should have enough warning that something is there,” he said.

Having two accidents at the same location with strikingly similar circumstances within five days of one another is a bit disturbing to Lucich.

“We don’t get a lot of crashes down there, and when we do, usually it’s a fender-bender,” he said. “Am I concerned? Sure, I am. But it begs the question, should we be looking at that signage? Maybe Toad’s has to think about if there isn’t another place to put that sign.”

Jim Beseda / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(503) 829-2301




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