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La Pine man killed in Highway 97 crash south of Bend


A La Pine man was killed and a California woman was seriously injured in a three-vehicle crash on Highway 97 south of Bend Monday morning, Oregon State Police said.

OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to the crash scene near milepost 145 and the High Desert Museum shortly after 8 a.m., said Capt. Bill Fugate.

A preliminary investigation has determined a 2008 Chevy Malibu driven by Joshua S. Matthes, 25, of La Pine, was heading north in the “fast lane” of Highway 97 when it rear-ended a 2016 Ford F-350 pickup, also heading north, Fugate said.

After that collision, the Chevy slid out of control, crossed the yellow center line and was struck on the passenger side by a southbound 2009 Honda Accord, the captain said.

Matthes was pronounced dead at the crash scene by emergency personnel.

The driver of the Honda, Ashley S. O’Brien, 24, of Oak Park, California, was taken to St. Charles, where a house supervisor said she was listed in serious condition Monday afternoon. The pickup driver, John Norris, 59, of Bend, was unhurt in the crash, Fugate said.

The crash and investigation closed the highway in both directions for almost an hour, until one lane reopened with flaggers, in alternating directions. The road was fully open again by around noon.

OSP was assisted on scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Sunriver and Bend fire departments and the Oregon Department of Transportation. This is an ongoing investigation; Fugate said, and more information will be released as it becomes available.

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