Cabbage Hill, Oregon

Google the words “Cabbage Hill Oregon” and some frankly scary stuff comes up near the top of the search results. One high-ranked result is labeled “Vehicle Incident Map.” Other top results include a long list of You Tube videos with titles like “Going Down Cabbage Hill in a Truck” and “Death Mountain.” Some of the videos show trucks with smoke bellowing from their brakes as they attempt to make it down the steep gradient.

Located on Interstate 84 in Umatilla County between La Grande and Pendleton, Cabbage Hill (also known as “Emigrant Hill”) has earned a macabre notoriety: a reputation among drivers in general, and truck drivers in particular, as one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the nation. The road is steep, marked by dangerous twists and turns and represents a formidable challenge to even the most careful and experienced driver of semi-trucks. Portland-based attorney Matthew D. Kaplan offers victims of Cabbage Hill car and truck accidents Oregon legal services tailored to the unique problems this particular road generates. Matthew’s office at 50 SW Pine St #302 is the place to turn for solutions in the wake of tragic Oregon car and truck accidents on Cabbage Hill, or elsewhere in the state. Call (503) 226-3844 to schedule an appointment and a free initial consultation.

The danger posed by driving on Cabbage Hill is vividly illustrated by comparing Umatilla County’s accident statistics with other parts of Oregon. Though Umatilla is a largely rural county, home to only around 76,000 people, it has traffic fatality rates comparable to counties twice its size, such as Jackson (population: more than 204,000). A significant number of those accidents involve trucks. According to Oregon Department of Transportation figures, there were 715 motor vehicle crashes in Umatilla County in 2010, resulting in 11 fatalities and over 400 injuries. Of those accidents, 62 involved trucks.

An information sheet compiled by the Oregon Department of Transportation (see link below) diagrams brake test areas and runaway truck ramps and notes that “on average 59 percent of brake problems contribute to accidents on the Hill.” It adds that the vast majority of truck crashes on Cabbage Hill – 78 percent – “involve out-of-state motor carriers!”

Car and 18-wheeler truck accidents on places like Cabbage Hill raise a number of legal issues that are not necessarily present elsewhere in Oregon. Commercial drivers whose vehicles are company-owned need to ask whether those responsible for maintenance have taken proper care of the truck. Car or pick-up drivers who have fallen victim to an accident on this especially dangerous road must ask whether all of the drivers involved were exercising an appropriate degree of caution. With a broad range of legal expertise in issues of both Oregon truck accidents and Oregon industrial accidents Matthew Kaplan is uniquely well-placed to assist clients who believe that negligent operation or maintenance of a vehicle has led to their suffering. Matthew believes passionately in the ability and desire of our courts to see that justice is served and is here to help ensure that those who have been wronged have the chance to plead their case before a judge and jury.

The Law Office of Matthew D. Kaplan is located at 50 SW Pine St #302, Portland, OR 97204.


Oregon Department of Transportation Cabbage Hill information sheet (pdf)
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