Campsite of deadly Salem crash set to be cleared by ODOT

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 12:36 PM PDT
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SALEM Ore. (KPTV) – Three days after a suspected drunk driver killed four at a campsite by running them over, Oregon Department of Transportation has begun clearing the camps.

Nathan Rose has been living at the camp with his fiancée April Pfeifer for a month now. Despite the imminent cleaning, Rose and Pfeifer were still at the camp on Wednesday.

“We have our friends’ stuff still siting over here – he had to leave,” Rose says.

In addition to the four killed, two others were critically injured. Rose says he stayed in order to keep an eye on the property of the two people who were seriously hurt in the crash and taken to the hospital.

“Just because they got injured and are in the hospital and can’t take care of it, we have to,” Rose says. “I’d rather when my friend gets out of the hospital, he have his stuff then have to start all over again.”

Rose says there are still about 10 people at the camp. Rose who was at the site the morning of the crash says he and Pfeifer have been deeply affected by the deaths of four of their neighbors.

ODOT did post notices 10 days before the crash saying everyone should be out by March 26 – one day before the crash.

On whether he wishes the camp had been cleared prior to the crash: “I kind of wish they did but I’m looking at it now as there’s nothing we could have done. Somebody else would have moved there that night or we would have all moved right back here.”

Rose says when you have all sorts of things to take with you, you don’t move fast. He’s now thinking maybe he’ll move to Wallace Park, a short walk from where he is now.

As the current site is ODOT property, it’s also ODOT’s responsibility. FOX 12 asked ODOT Public Information Officer Angela Beers Seydel whether ODOT has any liability in the deadly crash.

“This situation is under investigation so we can’t answer that. We will learn from this, as we do all situations, and we follow our best practices as we know them. We will apply any lessons learned to going forward,” Beers Seydel says. “This is the worst-case scenario. Our hearts really go out to the families and people involved.”