Local man arrested after fatal crash

A Lebanon man has been arrested following a fatal crash Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 4, on Highway 20 near Hyak Park on the outskirts of Albany.

According to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, BCSO deputies responded to the crash at approximately 3:50 p.m. on Jan. 4.

An investigation determined a Ford Ranger was traveling westbound pulling a small unloaded trailer. While in transit, the trailer detached from the Ranger’s hitch and hit a Honda Civic, traveling in the opposite direction. The Civic then left the roadway and hit a telephone pole, according to a BCSO statement.

The driver of the Civic, a 69-year-old male from Albany, whose name was not released, was transported by ambulance from the scene and was later pronounced deceased at the hospital.

The driver of the Ranger, 42-year-old Nicholaus Cotter, of Lebanon, was uninjured.

Cotter was arrested for reckless endangering, was issued multiple traffic violations, and was released at the scene, according to BCSO.

An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with further information regarding the crash is asked to contact Sgt. David Iverson at (541) 230-0984 or email [email protected].

Using a trailer requires knowledge about the size and weight of the trailer, correct hitching techniques, proper cargo loading and weight distribution, and appropriate load-securing methods. To prevent another tragedy, BCSO asks that if you are going to pull a trailer, you review the Oregon Department of Transportation safety guidelines at https://www.oregon.gov/odot/Safety/Documents/TowingATrailer.pdf.