A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A crash into canal; no effect on city water

Written February 13th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Temporary fencing surrounds the end of the Santiam Canal on Tuesday. A car crashed through the fence there last weekend.

On Tuesday the end of the Santiam Canal at Third Avenue bore the signs of a car crash into the canal. I stopped the bike to take a look, but details of the accident remain scarce.

The Albany Police Department posted six photos of the car’s recovery from the canal on its Facebook page here. But it gave no details such as the date and time of day of the crash.

“Seven DUIIs over the Superbowl weekend but this one takes the cake,” the staff member handling the APD Facebook assignment wrote on Monday night.

The post charges that the driver was “impaired” and drove into the canal. All three people in  the vehicle survived, according to the post.

“Talk about a lucky day,” the police post concludes. Driving through a fence and getting your car stuck in the canal doesn’t sound all that lucky, if you ask me.

At least one commenter responding to the Facebook post was concerned about the crash affecting the water supply, since the canal feeds the older of Albany’s two water treatment plants. But from the looks of the photos, the crash happened downstream of the water treatment and hydropower intakes.

I asked Kristin Preston about that. She is the director of operations for Albany Public Works.

“Yes, you are correct,” she replied. “It was downstream of the intakes, right at the outfall to the Calapooia.”

She added, “The water treatment plant wasn’t running at the time but hydro was, which was a good thing for creating a lower water level in the canal.”

I’ve emailed the police department, hoping for some facts about the crash. I’ll add them to this story if I get a reply. (hh)

One response to “A crash into canal; no effect on city water”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Someone should comment on this good story you wrote. But, I can’t decide between ranting about driving under the influence of substances and just “ranting” in general!!! So, I decided to go with that….that I can’t decide what to say other than thanks for letting us know about the crash. The newspaper may or may not let us know.


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