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OSP IDs driver killed in Hwy. 97 crash S. of Bend


A 76-year-old driver from Clayton, Wash., was killed and a passenger injured in a rear-end crash early Thursday on Highway 97 about 12 miles south of Bend, Oregon State Police reported.

Troopers responded around midnight to the crash near milepost 155, said OSP Sgt. John Russo.

An investigation found that a Ford F350 pickup truck driven by Zeke Hacker was heading south when it struck a southbound Ford Expedition SUV directly ahead of it, Russo said.

After the impact, both vehicles’ drivers lost control and the pickup and SUV left the west shoulder of the highway, rolling several times and striking trees.

Hacker, the driver of the pickup, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The SUV driver, James “Dan” Harris, 52, of Bend was not hurt, troopers said. A passenger, Scott Bilbrook, 45, was taken to St. Charles Bend with non-life-threatening injuries. He was listed in fair condition later Thursday, according to a nursing supervisor.

Harris’s daughter told NewsChannel 21 he was “shaken and bruised” from the crash, which occurred near Vandervert Road.

Air bags deployed in both vehicles and all three occupants were wearing seat belts, troopers said.

Speed was being investigated as a contributing factor to the crash.

The crash shut the highway in both directions for a time and it remained down to one lane during the investigation, troopers said.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Sunriver fire and ambulance, Bend police and Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies, as well as the county medical examiner and DA’s office, Russo said.

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