By News-Register staff • 

Log truck driver killed south of Grand Ronde

GRAND RONDE An Independence log truck driver was killed Tuesday morning when his fully-loaded rig crashed in the area of Fire Hall Road, about 4 1/2 miles south of Grand Ronde.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office identified him as Gary Kline, 39, an employee of Siletz Trucking. Sheriff's office spokesperson Dean Bender gave this account:

Deputies responded to the incident about 9:30 a.m. It was determined the truck had gone off the road and down a steep embankment  about 4 1/2 hours earlier in heavy fog.

Kline was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the cab as the truck continued down the hillside. A fellow log truck driver discovered the wreckage.

Due to the terrain and location of where the truck crashed, the Newberg Fire Department High Angle Rescue Team was requested to assist with the recovery of Kline's body. Responding personnel arrived at about 1 p.m. and the body was recovered in the late afternoon. The rescue team had to use a rope and pulley system to bring Kline's body about 100 yards up the hillside.

In addition to the Newberg rescue crew, the West Valley Fire District, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Natural Resources employees and numerous employees from logging companies working in the area assisted.

The log truck will not be removed until it's examined by the Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division.

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