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Accidents and Crashes

Bend man killed, another seriously injured in six-vehicle Bend Parkway crash

Bend Parkway crash 1119-4
ODOT TripCheck
Traffic backed up Thursday evening after multiple-vehicle crash closed Bend Parkway.

(Update: Oregon State Police release details; parkway reopens)

Closure lasted several hours during crash investigation

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – One Bend man was killed and another was seriously injured in a six-vehicle crash on the Bend Parkway Thursday evening that closed the highway for eight hours, Oregon State Police reported Friday. Troopers investigating the crash also asked to hear from any witnesses.

OSP, Bend police and other emergency personnel responded around 5:15 p.m. to the crash on Highway 97 near milepost 137, OSP Captain Tim Fox said.

The preliminary investigation found that a 39-year-old Bend man driving a BMW was northbound, merging onto the highway from the Colorado Avenue onramp, Fox said.

The BMW merged through the right (slow) lane and into the left lane, striking a Chevy pickup driven by Kevin Schultz, 47, of Bend, he said.

The pickup then crossed the center median, into the southbound lane, and collided with a Ford Transit van driven by Christopher Rodea, 37, also of Bend.

Rodea died at the crash scene, while Schultz was taken to St. Charles Bend with serious injuries, Fox said. The BMW driver was not transported for injuries.

Two other southbound vehicles and another northbound vehicle also were involved in the crash, but no one in them was seriously injured, the trooper said.

OSP asked that any other witnesses to the crash contact the OSP Northern Command Center at 1-800-442-0776 or text *OSP and leave contact information for Trooper Sean Malloy.

OSP was assisted at the crash scene by Bend Police, Bend Fire & Rescue, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and ODOT.

ODOT advised the parkway was closed north of the Colorado Avenue interchange shortly after the crash, reported in the area of milepost 137.

"Motorists should find alternative route while extended investigation is underway," ODOT advised around 6:10 p.m. A detour was in place for a four-mile stretch of the parkway until it reopened overnight.

Bend / Central Oregon / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

59 Comments

        1. I’m close to 3 million miles and I’ve been in two wrecks, and neither were my fault. One happened when I was in my truck and an idiot in an suv crossed the line and hit me head on…
          The other happened when my wife and I were in her Durango, and a 16 year old girl ran a red light on 97 at Robal and t-boned us in the drivers side…

    1. every time in the last 10 years i’ve driven that road around the rush hours i’ve either been stuck in traffic because of an accident or almost involved in a wreck because or some crazy driving sob. i live in the sticks so i’m not driving bends roads every day, but i’ve learned its just better off if i avoid the parkway at them certain parts of the day. a 30 car pile up with multiple fatalities is looming when you got 1000s of people tailgating each other at 70+ mph twice a day in a 45 mph zone

      1. I don’t blame you. We live on the south end of town, and we avoid the parkway and 3rd street as much as we can, unless it’s late at night. Most of the time it’s actually
        faster to use other secondary roads, and we don’t have to deal with all of the idiots…

        I’m really surprised that there aren’t more crashes than there are on the parkway.
        It really wasn’t designed to handle the volume of traffic that we have now, and a
        large percentage of the vehicles drive 60mph+ even though the posted speed is 45.
        It would be counterproductive to raise the speed limit to 55 because then everyone
        would be driving even faster. The biggest problem is that there are so many idiots
        on the road that drive way to fast, and a lot of them also drive recklessly,
        and do stupid things like cutting across lanes, weaving in and out of traffic, and tailgating…

  1. I went through that area around 4:45. Dodged a bullet there!

    So I’m curious–why isn’t there more traffic enforcement on the Parkway? Some years ago I could count on there being cops at certain spots along the Parkway doing speed enforcement. What happened?

    1. Its a hard stretch to patrol on. Its poor design leaves few places to park a patrol car and its very dangerous to stop a motorist. The narrow shoulder leaves little room for a car and cop to pull over on.

      1. See State and Sheriffs sometimes do it but never Bend PD. Drive the parkway everyday and if they had a random patrol go up/down the parkway at random it would help. A car can be pulled over at the nearest safe exit with no problem except people in this town don’t know how to drive? Bet the average speed on the parkway is about 60 which makes it dangerous to blend into from a exit or side street. To many people in a hurry with safety not a concern.

      1. If people would actually drive the posted speed of 55 it would be fine, but they won’t, just like they don’t drive 45 now. The problem with raising it to 55 is that people will be driving 70+ mph, instead of the current 60+ mph that they drive with the posted speed of 45…

  2. that road has been a problem child every since they put it in. i wont even go that route before 9 in the morning or later than 3 in the afternoon. they need to do random monthly stings on that road to keep the speeds down

        1. “The BMW merged through the right (slow) lane and into the left lane, striking a Chevy pickup driven by Kevin Schultz, 47, of Bend, he said.”

          According to this witness, it might not be just a rumor…

      1. T There no safe place or very few to pull over speeders and people have been driving 60 (anything 15mph over can be written as reckless) in the left lane including the cops since day one

    1. The Oregon State Police press release states “Preliminary investigation revealed a BMW, operated by Jonathan Short (39) of Bend, was northbound merging onto Hwy 97 from the Colorado Rd onramp.”

  3. I’ve seen plenty of people merge onto the pw completely across to the left lane. Very foolish. Also foolish and extremely dangerous are those that exit directly from the left lane.

  4. In case you missed all the old idiots posting on this outdated website:
    1. thoughts and prayers
    2. people drive too fast
    3. the highway is supposed to be 45mph
    4. dumb comment directed at a local political figure and the highway, as if it’s their fault
    5. Oh it’s already been a horrible year
    6. Barney, trying to chime in, about a question about the highway that nobody asked him

  5. BPW has very short on ramps and many merges as they had to right of way and God given right to just ignore the traffic already on the road. I have seen many forcing others into the left lane to avoid a merging vehicle crashing into them.
    May adding some sort of control to the ramps (stop sign or lights) would help but would also slow down traffic.

  6. There is no excuse if you’re on the parkway and see cars merging to allow by slowing down or speeding up a bit? So what if the cars behind you have to slow down, if they do they were already going to fast. Drivers in this town basically suk!

    1. It is the driver merging on to the pw to do it safely. If you are already on the pw you don’t have to make room. You can if you want to but you don’t have to. It is safer for you to hold your speed and let the merging vehicle make the adjustments.

          1. Yep. It’s up to merging traffic to safely enter the flow of traffic.
            It’s been that way since I started driving in 1976, and I’m sure it
            was that way long before 1976. Failure of a merging driver to yield
            right of way is a traffic violation. See ORS 811.285 below…

            ORS 811.285 Failure of merging driver to yield right of way –
            A person commits the offense of failure of a merging driver to yield the right of way, if the person is operating a vehicle that is entering a freeway or other arterial highway where an acceleration or merging lane is provided for the operator’s use and the operator does not look out for and give right of way to vehicles on the freeway or other arterial highway.

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