11/29/2000

Deputy injured, crawls from burning vehicle; other driver is killed in two-car collision
[VANCOUVER, WA]

(VANCOUVER, Wash.) -- A Clark County deputy remains in stable condition after a sheriff's vehicle collided with a minivan driven by motorist early last Saturday. The motorist was killed and the 10-year veteran deputy, who was going to work, suffered a broken ankle and a head laceration, police said.

Lorna M. Gering, 47, was driving a 1998 Toyota Sienna at approximately 5:30 a.m. when her car was struck broadside by the 1992 GMC Yukon being driven by patrol deputy Russ Bradseth, 41.

Gering was killed at the scene. Bradseth managed to crawl from his vehicle, which had overturned and was on fire, according to a media release from the Sheriff's Department.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, Washington State Patrol Trooper Steve Schatzel told the an Oregon newspaper.

Bradseth was en route to the 6 a.m. briefing that proceeds his shift at the Clark County Sheriff's West Precinct in Hazel Dell, office spokesman Sgt. Steve Shea said.

Fog may have contributed to the accident, according to the Sheriff's statement, which also said that, "Preliminary investigation indicates Mrs. Gering either failed to stop or failed to remain stopped at the stop sign for the intersection."

Bradseth remains in Legacy Emanuel Hospital where he is awaiting reconstructive surgery on the ankle, Shea told PoliceOne.com.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating the accident.

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