HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- A LaGrande father of four says he’s lucky to be alive after his car was destroyed by a rockslide on Interstate 84 Wednesday night.
Dan Koopman was headed back home from Salem at about 7:30 p.m., when at least 2,000 cubic yards of rock and debris came tumbling down onto the stretch of I-84 he was driving.
Several huge boulders smashed the front end of his car and cracked his windshield.
“I had the sheer terror,” Koopman said. “I could hear more movement outside. I thought, ‘I’m going to get crushed,’ and I bailed out of my car as fast as I could.”
He jumped over the Jersey barrier to safety and waited for help to arrive, knowing he was just inches from a far worse fate.
“I am just so unbelievably grateful,” he said. “I just look at the car, and the rocks. And some of them were far larger than my car.” He escaped with just a few sore ribs.
“I can’t believe I survived,” he said when he went back to look at his car hours later (pictured). “I believe there’s a reason I’m alive today.”
KGW Reporter Ashley Korslien contributed to this report.