April 19 2019
On Tuesday August 14, 2018 at about 8:40 PM a fatal crash occurred on SR 11, milepost 16, near Athena Oregon. The crash occurred in an active construction zone where a repaving project was occurring.
Preliminary information shows a construction zone flagger, Tyresa Monaghan (49 ) of Kennewick, WA. had a vehicle stopped when a silver 2005 Chrysler minivan, operated by Leman Bledsoe (76) of Milton-Freewater, side swiped the stopped vehicle and struck Monaghan. Monaghan sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Bledsoe continued for approximately 1 mile in the construction zone, endangering numerous other workers, before stopping.
Bledsoe was transported to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton by ambulance. He was treated and released from the hospital and taken into custody. Bledsoe was lodged at the Umatilla County Jail for DUII, Reckless Endanger Another Person x 2, Reckless Driving, Fail to perform the duties of a driver (injured person), Reckless Endanger a Highway Worker and additional charges are pending.
Highway 11 was closed for approximately 4.5 hours.