Police: Hitchhiker hit by passing car on Hwy 101

Police: Hitchhiker hit by passing car on Hwy 101
Photo of the stretch of Highway 101 near Lincoln City where Ben Copeland, 19, was hit by a passing car while hitchhiking to Calif. - Photo from Oregon State Police

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. -- A hitchhiker was sent to the hospital Friday night after he was hit by a passing car on Highway 101, state police said.

Officials said that 19-year-old Ben Copeland was taken to a Newport hospital before being flown to Legacy Emanuel in Portland for treatment of his serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Emergency crews were called out to the crash at around 7:30 p.m. Friday after getting reports that a man had been hit by a car near milepost 146.

Crash investigators said that Copeland was hitchhiking south along the shoulder of the road with his back to oncoming traffic. He was hit from behind by a 4-door Toyota Avalon driven by Kimberli Parker, 28, of Waldport.

A PacWest ambulance drove Copeland from the scene to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. He was then flown by air ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.

Officials haven't confirmed a residence for Copeland, however he told police that he was hitchhiking to Arcadia, California.

No enforcement action will be determined until an investigation is completed, state police officials said.

The crash closed one lane of the highway while state police worked the incident with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and Newport Fire.