Banks – Banks Fire District, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and several other first responder agencies were honored with the EMS Unit Citation Award on September 28 for actions taken during a deadly crash on Highway 26 on March 16, 2018.
The award was presented by the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon’s top state health and wellness agency.
Banks first responders who were on the original call received their award ribbons during drill on November 5, 2018.
“The District is extremely proud of the dedicated service of these first responders,” read a statement from Banks Fire District.
Hillsboro Fire Department, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Life Flight Network, Metro West Ambulance, North Plains Police Department, and Oregon State Police were all presented with the award in addition to Banks Fire District 13, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Two people were killed in the crash just across the Tillamook County line on Friday, March 16. Five other people were also injured in the crash, which closed the highway for an extended period of time.
Two people were pronounced deceased on the scene, Kendra Cornwell, 19 of Gresham and Tom Bonneville, 80, of Windom, Minnesota, according to the Oregon State Police.
The driver of one of the vehicles, Caitlyn Potter, age 18 at the time of the crash, faces 18 charges in connection to the crash, including manslaughter and driving under the influence.
Oregon State Police say that a 2002 Black Chevrolet Trailblazer operated by Caitlyn Potter, 18, of Portland, was driving east on Highway 26 west of the Timber junction when she lost control and slid sideways into oncoming traffic, striking a westbound Toyota Tacoma before t-boning a westbound 2017 GMC Acadia.
Kendra Cornwell was the front passenger in the Trailblazer and died on-scene; Caitlyn Potter was transported by helicopter with critical injuries to OHSU.
The GMC Acadia held a family- the driver, Andrew Bonneville, 47 of Newberg, his parents, Julia Bonneville, 77 and Tom Bonneville, 80, of Windom, Minnesota, and two daughters of Andrew Bonneville, ages 8 and 12.
Andrew and his daughters were transported to area hospitals, the children with minor injuries. Julia Bonneville was transported by air ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. Tom Bonneville was pronounced deceased on-scene.
The driver of the Toyota Tacoma, Daniel Fultz, 35 of Portland, and his two adult passengers were uninjured.
“It has been a difficult afternoon in our Fire District,” wrote Banks Fire District #13 in a statement released on Facebook on the day of the crash. “Prayers for families, patients, and responders tonight are appreciated,” the district added in a second statement.