MINAM – A three-vehicle crash on State Route 82 resulted in the death of four-month old Jordy Erickson when a pickup driven by his mother, Christy Erickson of La Grande collided with two other vehicles Sept. 11 on State Route 82 near milepost 38 about four miles east of Minam. Another Erickson child, 2 years of age, was life-flighted to Boise.
Oregon State Police and other emergency personnel responded at about 10:30 a.m. Sept. 11.
Preliminary investigation showed that a Ford F150 pickup, driven by Erickson, 31, with two child passengers, was eastbound negotiating a curve when her vehicle left her lane of travel and sideswiped an oncoming Subaru Outback. Outback was driven by Mary Importico, 31, with Ryan Importico, 32, as a passenger. Both are from Portland.
The initial collision caused Erickson’s Ford to continue to the left into the oncoming lane and it struck a Dodge Ram pickup pulling a trailer nearly head-on. The Ram was driven by Colby Rimmer, 25; with passengers Daniel Rimmer, 53; Michael Cramer, 41; and John Kraus, 38; all from California.
All three occupants from Erickson’s Ford were transported to the Wallowa Memorial Hospital in Enterprise, where four-month-old Jordy was pronounced dead. The second child passenger was transported by Life Flight to a Boise hospital. Erickson was treated and released for her injuries and no other occupants were transported for injuries.
Friends of Christy and Derrick Erickson, the parents of both children, are spreading the word about ways people can help.
Jessica McCallister, Jordy’s godmother, said the family is devastated. She started a GoFundMe campaign online to collect money to help with costs they will face, including funeral expenses, a new vehicle, time off work and medical bills for their 2-year-old son who was seriously injured in the crash and left the hospital Friday.
“I just want them to be OK,” she said. “I feel like this is the only thing I can do for Jordy and his parents.”
People can donate to the family through the GoFundMe online at bit.ly/2lTzFIq or donate to an account set up in the Erickson family’s name at any Community Bank.
Candace Salim, another family friend, is organizing a dinner to collect donations for the family on Wednesday at the American Legion building at 301 Fir St. in La Grande. Salim said she is asking people to donate spaghetti, salads and desserts for the dinner. There will be photos of Jordy and a journal where people can write notes of condolence for the family.
Doors will open at 4 p.m. for people to drop off food, and the dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. Anyone interested in helping with food for the dinner can call 541-910-3991.
Funeral service will be Sunday Sept. 22 at 11am at Daniels-Knopp Crematory in La Grande.
The accident closed Ore. Hwy 82 for approximately five hours and one lane opened up for three hours while the on-scene investigation was conducted. At 2:30 p.m., there were about 4 miles of cars waiting to go through westbound. They didn’t get moving until about 3:15 p.m., according to one witness. The eastbound lane was let through later. Oregon State Police said traffic was held up for about 5 hours total.
OSP was assisted by the Wallowa Fire Department, Enterprise Ambulance, the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office, the Enterprise Police Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation.