10 firefighters hurt in Central Oregon crash

10 firefighters hurt in Central Oregon crash

Credit: Oregon State Police

10 firefighters hurt in Central Oregon crash

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by Associated Press & KGW

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 10 at 12:30 PM

PRINEVILLE, Ore. -- Ten firefighters heading to a small blaze in Central Oregon were injured Tuesday when the driver of their van fell asleep and their vehicle crashed into an oncoming semi-truck.

One of the firefighters, Marcelino Romero, 39, was in critical condition after getting airlifted to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

The nine other injured firefighters were treated at area hospitals and released. They were identified as Christopher Reed, 29, of Sheridan; Rogelia Saimc, 22, of Salem; Jesus Medera, 38, of Independence; Pedro Ramos, 37, of Salem; Manuel Abriz, 40, of Salem; Jovita Romero, 36, of Woodburn; Jose Salas, 20, of Salem, and Jerson Mendoza, 33, also from Salem.

The wildland firefighters all work for Lava River Forestry, out of Salem, according to The Oregon Department of Forestry. They were on their way to the Briley Mountain Fire near Monument in Grant County.

Investigators said the crash happened on a curve west of Prineville about 2:15 a.m.

Police cited the van diver, 35-year-old Jeremy Miesner, on a count of failure to drive within a lane. Investigators think he fell asleep at the wheel.

The truck driver, Scott Ramage, 48, of Washington and his one passenger were not injured.

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