ACCIDENT CLAIMS IRRIGON WOMAN'S LIFE

Hermiston Fire and Rescue medics administer oxygen to help Andrea Kristine Waelty, 36, Irrigon, breathe after she collided with a semi truck and tractor Wednesday on Westland Road.

By Joyce Hensley

Staff writer

HERMISTON — An Irrigon women died Wednesday after she was trapped in her car in a ditch following a collision with a semi truck at the intersection of Stable Lane and Westland Road.

Andrea Kristine Waelty, 36, driving a 2003 Nissan, pulled out onto Westland Road from Stable Lane and was almost immediately struck by a gravel truck driven by Rickey Calvert, 50, shortly after 11:30 a.m. The collision sent both the truck and the Nissan into a Westland Irrigation District Ditch.

The truck's grill trapped Waelty's lower body in the Nissan.

"She disobeyed a traffic control device," said Umatilla County Sheriff's deputy John Buckner. "The semi broadsided her."

A witness said Waelty likely never saw what hit her.

"The lady didn't see the semi coming," said Manuel Rodde, who was driving northbound on Westland Road at the time of the crash.

Calvert said it appeared Waelty never looked in his direction before pulling onto Westlund Road.

"There was nothing I could have done," said Calvert. "It happened so fast. I tried to pull around her. She didn't look my way. She punched it. I hit my brakes as fast as I could."

The Hermiston Fire and Rescue team were called out at 11:37 a.m.

Dan Swart, while driving his semi loaded with gravel north bound, also saw the crash. He ran to the accident scene. Once there, he climbed into waist-deep water, broke out a car window and performed CPR on Walety.

"I kept her alive until the ambulance got here," Swart said. "Boy, I never had to do anything like this before."

Hermiston Fire and Rescue removed Waelty from the car with hydraulic extrication tools.

She was transported at 12:30 p.m. to Good Shepherd Medical Center by Hermiston ambulance.

She died at 1:40 p.m. at the medical center, according to Buckner.

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