By News-Register staff • 

Woman injured when plane strikes kayak on Willamette River

A McMinnville woman was injured late Wednesday afternoon when the kayak in which she was recreating on the Willamette River in the Lower Lambert Bar between Dayton and the Wheatland Ferry was struck by a Piper Super Cub plane, according to the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Sam Elliott identified her as 42-year-old Terra Grimes.

She was transported by McMinnville Fire Department Ambulance to Salem Hospital for injuries to her neck and shoulder, a compound fracture of her right leg and a head laceration, according to Elliott.

"The last word I got last night was she was having surgery," he said Thursday morning.

Her son, Devan Grimes, provided an update on her condition on Facebook. His post read in part:

"For those wondering, my mom has had neck surgery. Also, from what I know, the worst of it may be a broken leg. Thanks for all of your concerns."

She was reported in fair condition Thursday night, according to a hospital spokesperson.

The Yamhill Communications Agency 911 dispatch center received a call shortly after 5 p.m. regarding the injured kayaker who was on the river with an unidentified 68-year-old female kayaker at the time of the incident.

A sheriff's office marine patrol boat and a water rescue boat from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (Newberg) located the injured kayaker and the plane.

In addition to McMinnville, medical personnel from the Dayton Fire District also responded to the area.

The water rescue boat transported the injured kayaker to the waiting ambulance at the end of Southeast Green Acres Road in rural Dayton.

A preliminary investigation determined the plane, piloted by Robert Stark, 69, of Hillsboro, was taking off from the gravel bar when the kayaker was struck. He returned to the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

The plane was equipped with tundra tires allowing for takeoff and landing in the area. Stark reported having previously landed and taken off from this area about 50 times and said he has more than 6,500 flight time hours.

A similar incident resulted in a far more tragic outcome in July 1994 when a  seaplane attempting a touch-and-go landing on the Willamette struck and killed a man and woman canoeing with their two sons and the family dog in the area of the Wheatland Ferry.

The crossbar linking the pontoons of the Piper Cub struck the Portland-area couple in the head, but passed over the boys, ages 4 and 7, and the dog.

The pilot, a 30-year-old male from Independence in Polk County, said he was trying to execute a touch-and-go maneuver that involved landing briefly, then taking off again, according to the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office.

The pilot said he did not see the canoe. He thought he hit a rock.

The Federal Aviation Administration revoked his license for 270 days, Davidson was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of criminally negligent homicide and relatives of the couple filed a $22 million lawsuit against him, according to media reports.







Ironic that you can't drive a moped in Oregon without proof of liability insurance.

But a 1500 lb aircraft flying at 150 mph - who cares?

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