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Road caution

Fatality serves as a solemn reminder

November 5, 2005

Icy weather may have played a part in the fatality that occurred Thursday on Highway 26 near the Highway 35 intersection.

A 46-year-old Vancouver woman died and her 5-year-old grandson survived, though his injuries are critical, according to an Oregon Department of Transportation Report. We extend our condolences to the family affected by this tragedy, and our hopes that such events not recur this winter.

Friday morning in Wasco County, two ice-related spinouts occurred just a few minutes and miles apart on Highway 97, with no reported injuries.

All this provides a reminder that winter driving conditions are again part of life in the Gorge.

In coming editions, Hood River News will carry regular information on safe winter driving. For now, some general reminders to help you on your way:

* If you lose traction and your vehicle feels like it’s floating, gradually slow down. Don’t slam on the brakes.

* Use caution when driving on bridges or concrete highways. These surfaces are the first to freeze and become slippery when the temperature drops.

* Slow down in advance of shaded areas, especially on curves. Shaded areas are cooler and may have ice that is difficult to see.

* Don’t pass snow plows or sanders, and don’t follow them too closely.

* Visit TripCheck.com for information on road and weather conditions, incidents, and traffic delays.

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