Police said speed was involved in a crash that leveled a City of Tillamook sign on the south side of town.
According to Tillamook Police Department, 18-year-old Emanuel Benito Maldonado was taken to a hospital after he allegedly drove his Ford Mustang off the road and hit the sign at around 5 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 7. Maldonado was the lone occupant in his vehicle and no other vehicles were involved in the crash.
A Tillamook Fire District spokesman said Maldonado was extricated from the crashed Mustang with serious injuries and was moved by backboard with C-spine precautions. Tillamook Fire sent three apparatus to the scene and provided an ambulance driver.
Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright said Maldonado has not been charged with any crime at this time, but the case will be sent to the district attorney’s office for review.
Tillamook City Manager Paul Wyntergreen said the sign would be replaced. He said no determination has been made regarding further legal actions other than to pursue Maldonado’s insurance for the cost of the replacement.
A Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce spokesman said the sign's cost was $30,000.
The sign sat at the southern entrance to Tillamook on U.S. 101 and was one of four installed this past fall. The project was launched in the summer of 2017 and cost $120,000. The brightly-colored orange and white landmarks herald a welcome to “The Dairylands.” The other three signs can be found where U.S. 6, U.S. 131, and U.S. 101 (on the north side) enter Tillamook.
A collaborative rebranding effort by Visit Tillamook Coast, Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Tillamook, the signs were paid for with Transient Lodging Tax funds overseen by Visit Tillamook Coast. The signs were the first step of a wayfinding program for the city, and the first installation of a countywide wayfinding program. They were constructed by a Portland firm.