SHERIDAN, Ore. -- One person was killed and four others were taken to the hospital after a three car accident that happened in the heavy fog and icy conditions on Highway 22 (Willamina - Salem Highway) Saturday night, police said.
Highway 22 was temporarily closed as state police officials reconstructed the scene of the deadly crash, which took longer than usual because of the heavy fog in the area.
After reconstructing the crash, police said that the incident happened at around 6:30 p.m. when a westbound Ford van driven by Marcos Antonio Luz, 41 of Woodburn, crossed over the center line and hit a Toyota sedan carrying two elderly people from Silverton head-on.
The impact pushed the Toyota off the roadway into the ditch, and the Ford came to a stop on the highway.
Police said that shortly after that crash a Dodge pickup carrying Lonny and Ruthann Bryant of Willamina (51 and 49, respectively) was headed west when the truck hit the van, pushing it into the ditch as well.
Emergency responders pronounced the driver of the Toyota, Clifford Fagaly, 69 of Silverton, dead at the scene. Kerttu Fagaly, 85 of Silverton, was a passenger in the car. She was taken to Salem Hospital with critical injuries.
Luz was driven by ambulance to Salem Hospital as well, where he is receiving treatment for serious injuries.
Lonny and Ruthann Bryant were taken to Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinneville with minor injuries.
Following the crash, officials closed the highway between mileposts 0 and 7 so a team could reconstruct what had happened. Oregon Department of Transportation officials. The Oregon Department of Transportation put up a detour on Highways 99W and 18 for several hours as the crews analyzed the scene.
Due to the thick fog, travelers should follow these precautions:
- Slow down and increase your following distance.
- Disengage your cruise control.
- Use your low beams.
- Use the right edge of the road, white fog line or roadside reflectors as a guide.
- Do not change lanes or pass other vehicles unless necessary.
- If you pull off the road, pull over as far as possible and turn off your headlights.