Driver, ducks blamed for Columbia Gorge crash

Craig Brown

The Columbian

Ducks that were waddling too slow and a motorist following too close were blamed for a Saturday afternoon crash near Franz Lake in the Columbia River Gorge, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The collision occurred at 12:13 p.m. on state Highway 14 near milepost 32, west of Beacon Rock. Hilmar Van Der Kooij, 43, of Camas was driving his motorcycle eastbound when he slowed for some ducks that were crossing the highway.

Following him was a pickup driven by Paul E. Goins, 43, of Stevenson. When Van Der Kooij braked for the ducks, Goins’ pickup hit the back of his Kawasaki, knocking him off his bike.

Van Der Kooij was taken to a Vancouver hospital for evaluation and treatment of injuries. Goins was not reported injured, but was cited for following too close, according to the state patrol.

The highway was blocked in both directions while the collision was investigated and cleaned up.

There was no mention in the report about what happened to the ducks.