On April 10th, 2022 at approximately 10:45 PM, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Toledo Fire Department were dispatched to a single vehicle submerged in the Yaquina River adjacent to Elk City Road near Cannon Quarry Park. Deputies arrived at the location and observed a white Ford work truck completely submerged in the water. A deputy entered the water and was able to determine the vehicle’s cab was unoccupied. Due to darkness and water conditions, the submerged area around the vehicle could not be checked. A Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol boat was deployed to aid in checking the area for occupants and securing the vehicle until a tow truck could arrive.
In the process of securing a line to the vehicle deputies observed a person under the water and apparently trapped by the vehicle. Deputies and Toledo Fire personnel were able to move the vehicle enough to free the trapped subject, however he could not be revived. The subject, 39-year old Toledo resident Benjamen Bradley Stokes, was pronounced deceased at the scene. An investigation revealed Stokes’ vehicle had been travelling eastbound on Elk City Road before entering the eastbound ditch. The vehicle then crossed the roadway and ejected Stokes before coming to rest in the Yaquina River.
The cause of this incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information about this collision or who observed the vehicle in the area is encouraged to contact Deputy Ben Cloud at (541) 265-4277.