Man arrested in crash that injured Walla Walla woman

Derrick A. Coates of Baker City was indicted in connection with a May crash that also killed a Pendleton woman.


A Baker City man is in custody following his arrest early Saturday morning on a warrant stemming from a traffic crash in May that killed a motorcyclist from Pendleton.

A Walla Walla woman, Joanne Mohrland, was driving a second motorcycle and suffered critical injuries in the wreck.

Derrick A. Coates, 24, was taken into custody by Baker County sheriff's deputies after they responded to a complaint call, according to a news release from Oregon State Police.

Coates was booked into the Baker County Jail on the felony warrant charging him with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree assault. A Baker County grand jury had indicted him and a warrant was issued for his arrest Friday.

The charges are the result of an OSP investigation into the May 28 fatal crash involving a pickup driven by Coates and a group of motorcycles on Highway 7, about one mile west of the junction with Highway 245 in Baker County.

Officials said Coates was heading south in a 1994 Nissan pickup, passed a lead motorcycle heading north and then crossed the centerline, colliding with the northbound motorcycles driven by Mohrland and Leta L. Currey, 46, of Pendleton.

Currey died at the scene.

Mohrland, 53, was critically injured and was flown to a medical center in Boise. She has since been released and is continuing to recover from her injuries, according to OSP.


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