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Three people die in head-on crash near McMinnville


(Update: Correcting name of woman killed)

Oregon State Police on Sunday identified three people who were killed in a head-on crash on state Highway 18 near McMinnville Airport in Yamhill County Saturday afternoon.

Troopers, McMinnville and Amity police, Yamhill County sheriff’s deputies and ODOT responded to the crash shortly after 1 p.m. near milepost 48 on the highway, OSP Captain Tim Fox said.

A preliminary investigation found that Joseph Hawkins, 19, of Salem, was heading east when his silver 2001 Pontiac Grand Am crossed into the westbound lanes and collided with an oncoming 2005 Subaru Legacy driven by Roger Verdier, 70, of Vancouver, Washington.

Hawkins, alone in his car, died at the scene, as did Verdier’s two passengers, Mary Verdier, 59, also of Vancouver, and Susan Heffel, 60, of McMinnville. Roger Verdier was seriously injured and taken to Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, Fox said.

“The reason Hawkins entered the oncoming lanes is unknown at this time,” Fox said in a news release.

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