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Two Deaths on Oregon Coast in One Day: Bike Crash and Presumed Drowning

Published 07/10/23 at 9:21 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Two Deaths on Oregon Coast in One Day: Crash and Presumed Drowning

(Oregon Coast) – Two tragedies hit the Oregon coast on the same day this weekend, after a teenager is presumed drowned near Pacific City and a bicyclist died in a crash near Depoe Bay. (Above: boat resurfaces near Pacific City, photo courtesy Tillamook County Sheriff's)

July 7 saw the fatal crash of a bicyclist from Hillsboro on the central Oregon coast, after the man's bike made contact with the side of a logging truck. The crash occurred about 1:15 p.m. around milepost 125, in the Fogarty Beach area.

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Oregon State Police (OSP) responded to the scene along with Lincoln City Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and Depoe Bay Fire. The bike was ridden by a 57-year-old man from Hillsboro: Bradley James Stark. OSP said his injuries were fatal and he was declared dead at the scene.

OSP said Stark was traveling southward on the central Oregon coast highway when for unknown reasons he collided with the side of a maroon 2020 International CMV – a bunked and empty logging truck operated by 36-year-old Richard Eugene Wiser of Newport.

“This is an ongoing investigation and will be forwarded to the Lincoln County District Attorney for review when complete,” OSP said.

The wreck shut down Highway 101 for about four hours as investigators reconstructed the accident.

Also on Friday, July 7, a water rescue was engaged at the mouth of the Nestucca Bay at Pacific City, on the north Oregon coast. At 7:32 p.m., 911 dispatchers received a call that three males were in distress after their 12-foot boat capsized and only two made it to shore.

Responding to the scene were Tillamook County Sheriff's Office (TCSO), Nestucca Fire, Tillamook Ambulance, Oregon State Parks and the US Coast Guard (USCG). TCSO said the trio were out on the bay crabbing. Making it to shore were one 40-year-old male adult and one 17-year-old male, while a 15-year-old male is still missing and presumed deceased.

Both the sheriff's office and a USCG lifeboat began searching the water, along with a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft, as fire department personnel and state parks crews searched on the shoreline. They continued looking for the missing boy for two days.

“Unfortunately, as of this writing, the missing boy has not been recovered and is presumed deceased,” said TCSO. “An investigation into this boating accident is being conducted by Deputy Dennis Greiner on behalf of the Oregon State Marine Board.”

The sheriff's office said the initial investigation found there were not enough floatation devices on board the watercraft. The missing boy was not wearing a life jacket when the boat capsized.

On July 9, the boat resurfaced and drifted onshore in the bay, with TSCO and state parks personnel responding and retrieving the boat.

Oregon coast authorities offered some guidelines on how to avoid such a tragedy yourself.

"These types of incidents happen in the blink of an eye. It is important to be wearing life jackets, or have them readily available immediately," said Deputy Greiner. "Oregon law requires children 12 and under to be wearing a properly fitted USCG approved PFD while on a boat that is underway. All non swimmers, regardless of age, should be wearing PFD's when on the water."

Even in the summer, Oregon coast bays and rivers have dangerous currents present during tidal events and recreating on the water near the mouth of a bay or a river where it meets the ocean is particularly dangerous, said OSP. When you need a life jacket, it's often too late to put one on.

"Tragedies like this are often avoidable by simply wearing a PFD (personal floatation devices). You should also avoid crabbing, fishing, paddling or swimming on an outgoing tide anywhere near the mouth of a bay or river. Your survival in a boating accident greatly increases if you are wearing a PFD, no matter what your age. No family should have to go through something like this," said Deputy Greiner. MORE PHOTOS OF THESE AREAS BELOW

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Nestucca Bay / Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Photos below of Fogarty Beach area / Oregon Coast Beach Connection

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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