A male commercial truck driver died Monday night after driving off Highway 207 near E. Punkin Center Road northeast of Hermiston and striking some trees, resulting in a vehicle fire.
The victim is identified as David C. Contreras, 43, of Pasco, Wash.
The accident took place at approximately 11:10 p.m. when a 2000 Freightliner truck pulling a flatbed semi-trailer loaded with PVC pipe operated by Contreras was heading southbound on Highway 207. Contreras was approaching the intersection with E. Punkin Center Road where there is a slight right hand curve. The truck continued straight across the northbound lane, off the highway and through a fence. As it continued to the east it clipped one tree and traveled nearly 300 more feet before hitting between two trees where it caught fire.
Contreras was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fire was contained mostly to the commercial truck which was extensively damaged. The truck is registered to Excel Transport out of Sunnyside, Wash.
Oregon State Police troopers from the Hermiston work site responded with local emergency fire and police personnel. The investigation is continuing to determine a cause of the crash.