Two drivers treated for injuries; second fatal crash reported on Hwy. 97 north of Chiloquin
(Update: CCSO details on Prineville-area crash; Hwy. 97 reopens)
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – Crook County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday released the names of two Prineville men killed in a fiery head-on crash on Juniper Canyon Road late Monday afternoon that closed the road for six hours.
Deputies were dispatched around 4:30 p.m. to the crash near the Post-Paulina Highway, Sgt. Tim Durheim said. They arrived to find one vehicle, an SUV engulfed in flames and a pickup truck burning in the engine compartment.
An initial investigation found a 20-year-old Prineville woman was driving a 1999 Ford F-250 pickup heading north on Juniper Canyon Road when she crossed the center line and struck a 2016 Ford Edge SUV heading south, driven by a 22-yaer-old Prineville woman.
The SUV also was carrying two passengers, who were killed. Shawn Solar, 44, succumbed to his injuries at the crash scene, despite extensive life-saving efforts, Durheim said. Garrett Dennis, 24, also died at the scene.
The pickup driver was taken by Crook County Fire and Rescue ambulance to St. Charles Prineville, where she was treated for minor injuries and released. The SUV driver also was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The investigation into the crash is continuing, Durheim said.
Crook County Fire & Rescue Division Chief Russ Deboodt said the Crook County High School parking lot was designated as a location for motorists waiting out the road closure. Sheriff John Gautney said the Assembly of God Church at South Main Street and Lynn Boulevard also offered to take in those who needed to stay warm while waiting for the road to open.
The sheriff’s office was assisted by Crook County Fire & Rescue, the Prineville Police Department and Oregon State Police.
A few hours later, in Klamath County, a three-car crash -- also confirmed by Oregon State Police to be a fatality -- occurred shortly before 8 p.m. and closed U.S. Highway 97 at milepost 235, north of Chiloquin. The highway reopened overnight, but ODOT advised to be aware of workers still in the vicinity Tuesday morning.
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We’ll have more details on both crashes as they are available.