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Three Redmond residents killed in SUV-truck crash on icy Hwy. 97 near Crooked River Bridge

(Update: Adding video, sheriff's office comments, vigil planned, other info)

OSP says SUV driver was passing, lost control

TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) – Three Redmond residents were killed Monday night when an SUV driver lost control while passing on icy Highway 97 north of Terrebonne and it slid into the oncoming lane, colliding with a utility truck, Oregon State Police said Tuesday.

Troopers and other emergency personnel responded shortly before 10 p.m. to the two-vehicle crash on Highway 97 near milepost 113, just south of the “High Bridge” over the Crooked River Gorge.

A preliminary investigation found that Jared Lewis, 39, was driving north in a Dodge Durango with two passengers and lost control while passing on the icy roadway, troopers said.

The Durango spun broadside into the southbound lane, where it collided with an International 749 utility truck driven by a 26-year-old Bandon man, OSP said. Troopers said he was traveling with several utility vehicles from Washington state to California.

Lewis and his passengers, Kristopher Frisbee, 44, and Heather Good, 40, sustained fatal injuries, troopers said. The utility truck driver was uninjured, they added.

The crash and investigation closed Highway 97 at the crash scene for about five hours, the agency said.

OSP was assisted by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Fire Department and ODOT.

A candlelight vigil is planned next Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Redmond's Sam Johnson Park in honor of those who died.

Four people died on Central Oregon roads Monday -- the only fatal crashes in Oregon in the first days of the new year, Oregon State Police said.

Early in the morning, a Redmond man was killed in a head-on crash on state Highway 126 east of Powell Butte. There were numerous other slide-offs, rollovers and crashes around the region in Monday's snowy weather.

“It’s unfortunate for everyone involved," Deschutes County sheriff's Sgt. Jayson janes said. "And if people can just slow down and use extra caution this time of year, that’s what we want. We want everyone to be on our roadways to be safe and to get where they are going.”

“I think initially you know, at the beginning of the year (drivers) aren’t used to it. It takes a little while to get used to it," Janes said. "And they still leave for work same time that they normally do, so they try to go the same speed that they are used to. And when you are going the normal speed that you would on dry pavement, you can’t react accordingly or stop like you used to.”

There were 15 percent more fatal crashes in Oregon in 2021 than the previous year. In the last six months, there were more than 250 reported crashes on Highway 97 and just over 100 on Highway 26.

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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Jordan Williams

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