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Bend-area man dies in Hwy. 97 car-semi crash south of Madras


(Update: OSP corrects Stern’s age to 33)

A Bend-area man was killed late Wednesday night when his car crossed the centerline of Highway 97 south of Madras and collided head-on with a semi-truck, Oregon State Police reported. The crash and investigation shut the highway in both directions for about four hours.

First responders were called to Highway 97 in the area of Iris Lane around 11:15 p.m., said OSP Sgt. Michael Berland.

A preliminary investigation found that Jonathan Stern, 33, the driver of a black 2007 Audi A-4 sedan, was traveling northbound when for unknown reasons, his crossed the centerline and collided with an oncoming 2012 Peterbilt TT semi hauling an empty livestock trailer, Berland said.

Evidence such as gouge marks in the road showed the impact occurred in the southbound lane, he added.

Stern was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver, James Mohring, 64, of El Sobrante, California, sustained minor injuries and was taken by OSP to St. Charles Redmond, where he was treated and released. The truck was from D & R Transportation of Dixon, California.

OSP was assisted at the scene by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and fire and EMS responders, troopers said. ODOT provided traffic control while the highway was shut down for about four hours, with motorists detoured onto the Culver Highway.

SMAF Environmental also responded to the scene, as about 110 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the highway’s southbound shoulder.

Prince’s Towing recovered the car and Ira’s Towing recovered the semi-truck.

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