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7-Year Old Oregon Boy Dies When Truck Plunges off I-84 Into Columbia River

Oregon boy dies in tragic crash
(Arntson family photo-Oregon State Patrol)

In the space of 36 hours 11 people died in three accidents on Oregon’s icy roads.

Oregon State Police have released the identity of a 7-year-old boy who died early New Year’s Eve when his father’s truck slid on ice and plunged into the Columbia River. Around 4:20 p.m. 40-year-old John G. Arntson of Clackamas, OR, was westbound when his truck slide on ice just west of Mosier. It broke through the guardrail, went down a rocky slope and into the water.

Arntson was not able to free his son, Jacob Ray Arntson as the truck quickly sank. An Oregon State Patrol trooper who arrived less then five minutes after the accident found the truck completely submerged. Divers from Skamania County later found the boy in the truck about 20 yards from shore in over 40 feet of water. The father was taken to Hood River Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, reportedly including hypothermia from trying to save his son.

 

Emergency responders work to recover truck in Columbia River
(Oregon State Patrol)

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