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'Ax Men' star Michael Pihl arrested after rolling Jeep with children

By Christopher Rocchio, 08/28/2009 

A star of History Channel's Ax Men reality series has been arrested after a vehicle he was driving in northwest Oregon flipped over and injured three children.

Michael D. Pihl was arrested by Oregon State Police and charged with assault in the third degree and three counts of recklessly endangering another person, The Oregonian reported Thursday.

Alcohol was involved in the crash, Oregon State Police Lieutenant Gregg Hastings told The Oregonian, which added the incident is still under investigation.

The 48-year-old owner of Mike Pihl Logging Co. in Vernonia, OR was driving the three children in a Jeep CJ5 with the top down along his private driveway off the Nehalem Highway on Wednesday evening when he accelerated and lost control, according to The Oregonian.

None of the three children were reportedly wearing safety restraints.

The vehicle rolled into a ditch and settled upside-down -- with its roll bar pinning the head of 3-year-old Mathias Pihl to the ground, The Oregonian reported.  While the young boy was transported by LifeFlight to a Portland-area hospital, authorities claim his injuries are non-life-threatening.

Three-year-old Rylee Pihl and 5-year-old Jayda Pihl sustained minor injuries in the crash, according to The Oregonian.

Pihl was taken into custody after being released from the hospital.  He subsequently posted bail and was released from Columbia County Jail on Thursday morning.  He is scheduled for a court appearance on September 14.

Pihl and his logging company have been featured on Ax Men since the reality series premiered in March 2008.

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