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UPDATED: Crash sends truck into Collawash River; two make it out, one male missing


News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

Posted: Jan. 24-28, 2016



On Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, search-and-rescue personnel with the Clackamas Water Rescue Team (previously referred to as the Clackamas Water Rescue Consortium) continued their search along the Callowash River for missing 26-year-old Irinei Burkoff, of Woodburn.  They began their fourth day of searching at 9 a.m. 

At about 3 p.m. on Jan. 27, a relative of Mr. Burkoff saw what they believed to be his deceased remains in the river, about two-and-a-half miles downstream from the crash site.

Water-rescue personnel responded and confirmed that this was the missing man. 

A recovery operation was mounted that included loading the body onto an inflatable craft to cross the river and then using ropes to climb an approximate 60-foot cliff. 

The operation to recover the victim took until about 7:30 p.m. that evening.

The Deputy Medical Examiner and family members on scene confirmed the identity of the victim.

The victim's death was as a result of the crash and related conditions, and no foul play is suspected.

Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, Clackamas Fire District #1, Lake Oswego Fire, American Medical Response's Reach and Treat Team, the Clackamas County Medical Examiner's Office, and Clackamas County Sheriff's Office SAR, Marine, and Water Rescue personnel participated in the search and recovery operation.

EARLIER: Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, 6:16 p.m.

Today (Monday, Jan. 25), the Sheriff's Office Dive Team and Search & Rescue personnel returned to the vehicle that had crashed early Sunday morning and was submerged in the Callowash River.

Divers were able to recover the vehicle, and it has been removed from the river.

The male who was last known to be in the vehicle has been identified as Irinei Burkoff, 26 years old, of Woodburn. The male was not recovered in the vehicle, and is considered missing.

Search & Rescue personnel searched the river and its banks, but found no sign of the subject.

Searchers will be back out tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 26) to continue searching for the male.

EARLIER: Jan. 24, 2016, 1:54 p.m.

On Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 at 3:28 a.m., a 911 call came in reporting a crash on Forest Service Road 63 near Forest Service Road 45, east of Estacada. Road 63 leads to Bagby Hot Springs. The call came from the Timber Lake Job Corporation near the Ripple Brook Ranger Station.

The 911 caller said they came across the crash, then drove 30 minutes to a phone. The caller reported that a vehicle had left the roadway, went down an embankment and was in the river. There was a female stranded on the other side of the river.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Office deputies and members of the Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium responded to the scene.

Responders arrived to find one female on the bank near the road and another female stuck on the other side of the river. Water rescue personnel used a rapid deployment craft to ferry across the river and rescue the female on the other side. She was brought back without any further incident. Both females were transported to the hospital; they were not seriously injured.

The vehicle they had been in was completely submerged in the Collawash River.

The submerged vehicle was a light-colored pickup; the roof of the vehicle was 2-4 feet underwater.

The current was very strong, and water rescue personnel could not safely investigate the vehicle to see if anyone was trapped inside.

The female on the road side of the river -- 19 years old, of Tigard -- told deputies she was driving the vehicle when she lost control and went off the roadway. She said the female on the other side of the river was the middle passenger -- 15 years old, and at this writing it is unknown where she is from.

The driver told deputies a male -- 26 years old, of Woodburn -- was in the front passenger seat.

The two females were able to get out of a window and swim to shore. They did not see the male get out and believed he was still in the vehicle.

Search & Rescue personnel searched the riverbanks for the male, but were unable to locate him.

Plans are being made to get specialized divers to the location on Monday in an attempt to recover the vehicle and search for the missing male passenger.

The names of those involved are not being released at this time until notifications are made.


News-release archive

Contact Info:
Sergeant Nathan Thompson
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office