Written by Albany Tribune
October 9, 2012
Oregon State Police are continuing the investigation into Tuesday morning’s serious injury crash involving three vehicles on Highway 97 about 32 miles north of Klamath Falls.
This morning a 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by Eunice Bell, age 63, from Wenatchee, Washington, was northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 240 when it drifted into the southbound lane and sideswiped a southbound 1993 Peterbilt commercial truck with a bunked trailer driven by Ronald Dean Howland age 50, from Grants Pass. The Trailblazer continued into the southbound lane and collided nearly head-on with a 2009 GMC pickup driven by James Herndon, age 79, from Bullhead City, Arizona.
Bell was transported by Chiloquin ambulance to Sky Lakes Medical Center with minor injuries. Her right front passenger, Katrina Lynch, age 32, from Malaga, Washington, was transported by air ambulance with serious injuries to Sky Lakes Medical Center. A five-year old male right rear passenger was transported by Chiloquin Ambulance to Sky Lakes Medical Center with minor injuries. The air bags in vehicle deployed and all occupants were using safety restraints.
Herndon was transported by Klamath County Fire District 1 to Sky Lakes Medical Center with minor injuries. His right front passenger, Mary Herndon, age 70, was transported by Klamath County Fire District 1 to Sky Lakes Medical Center with serious injuries. The air bags in the vehicle deployed and all occupants were using safety restraints.
Howland was not injured. He was using safety restraints.
OSP troopers from the Klamath Falls Area Command are continuing the investigation. Drowsiness and/or fatigue are being investigated as possible contributing factors to the collision.
OSP troopers were assisted at the scene by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Chiloquin Fire District, Chiloquin Ambulance, Klamath County Fire District 1, and ODOT. The entire highway was blocked for over two hours before being opened to a single lane of traffic for an additional two hours.