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Calif. woman dies, Bend couple hurt in Hwy. 97 crash


A three-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on Highway 97 about 10 miles south of Klamath Falls killed a California woman, sent a Bend couple and three others to area hospitals and closed the highway for nine hours, Oregon State Police reported Monday.

The crash was reported around 12:40 p.m. near milepost 287 in Klamath County, said OSP Sgt. Jeff Proulx.

A preliminary investigation found that Jesus Flores-Nunez, 61, of Bend, was heading north at the wheel of a 1994 Chevy pickup when it was rear-ended for an unknown reason by a 2017 Chrysler van driven by Tamatha Crystal Martin, 38, of California; a hometown was not available, Proulx said.

The van then crossed into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a 2014 Dodge pickup driven by Karen Wilson, 59, also of California.

Martin was pronounced dead at the scene, the trooper said. Her passenger, Trevor Foster, 23, of Florida, was flown to Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.

The passengers in Wilson’s pickup, Tina Hoyim, 53, and Melissa Strubel, 50, were taken to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls. Flores-Nunez and his wife also were taken to the Klamath Falls hospital. Proulx did not have information on the extent of their injuries.

Both lanes of Highway 97 were closed for about nine hours as troopers investigated the crash.

OSP was assisted on scene by Klamath County fire districts 1 and 4, the Klamath County Sheriff’s office, Kingsley Field Fire Department, Klamath Air Link and ODOT.

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