Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police said Jeffrey Glossop, 58, of Curry County, was attempting to drive a truck carrying the 1969 Chieftain battle tank up a steep grade near Gold Beach Nov. 27, the (Portland) Oregonian reported Monday.
The man, who is a caretaker for the man who purchased the tank, decided to attempt to drive the tank up the hill despite having no experience in tank driving.
"He had the manual, so he thought he could do it," Hastings said.
Hastings said Glossop made it part way up the hill before the vehicle slipped out of gear and rolled backward, crossing U.S. 101 in heavy traffic and crashing through a guardrail.
Glossop then made a second attempt, driving back across the road and up the hill before again rolling backward through another guardrail and down an embankment, Hastings said.
Glossop was cited for reckless driving and first-degree criminal mischief.
The tank, which was not damaged, came to rest in a stand of trees and was recovered a few days after the incident, Hastings said.
The Oregon Department of Transportation estimated the cost of the damage to the guardrails at $1,500.