Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Monday afternoon’ traffic crash along the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 about a mile west of Mosier in which a vehicle lost control on ice, crashed through a guardrail and went into the Columbia River. A dive team from Skamania County Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of a 7-year old Clackamas boy from the submerged pickup approximately 5 hours after the crash. The boy’s father was treated and released from a Hood River hospital. Their names, a family statement, and the child’s photograph are released in this update.
On December 31, 2012 at approximately 4:20 p.m., a 2005 Toyota Tundra pickup driven by JOHN G. ARNTSON, age 40, from Clackamas, was westbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 69 when he lost control on icy road conditions. The pickup crashed into a guardrail and continued over the railing down a rocky embankment into the Columbia River. JOHN ARNTSON escaped the pickup but wasn’t able to save his son, 7-year old JACOB ROY ARNTSON.
An OSP trooper arrived on scene about five minutes later but the pickup was submerged and not visible. Several other emergency responding agencies, including two boats and the Skamania County, Washington Sheriff’s Office Dive Recue Team came to assist. The boy’s body was recovered at 9:30 p.m. after the pickup was found by divers about 20 yards from shore in approximately 40 feet of water.
JOHN ARNTSON was transported to a Hood River hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The ARNTSON family asked OSP to release the following statement:
“Dear friends, family, and all of you who have reached out to us in the Clackamas community and beyond. By now you might have heard that our beloved son and brother, Jacob Roy Arntson, died last night in a traffic accident east of Hood River. Jake was just 7 years old, but in those 7 years he brought so much light into our world and touched so many lives as a friend and classmate. He was a wonderful child, and we miss him so much.
We will be making arrangements through Bateman’s Funeral Home, and will be setting up a fund in memory of Jake in the days ahead. We’ll pass along those details soon.
Our family has felt your support and your love during these difficult hours. Your caring means more to us than we can say, and we are so grateful. We know you join us in honoring Jake’s memory, remembering his bright eyes and big smile.
Jake: we love you forever.
The Arntson Family”
The family is asking media to please respect their privacy as they grieve the loss of their son. They are asking no media contact during this time.
The right hand westbound lane was blocked for about five hours. OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office are continuing the investigation. OSP was assisted at the scene by Hood River County Sheriff’s Office, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, Hood River Fire Department, Wyeast Fire Department, Hood River Medic 2, and ODOT. Boats from both sheriff departments assisted in the recovery.