(Update: OSP releases names, details)
WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Oregon State Police on Tuesday released the victims' names and more details about a head-on crash of an SUV and van on U.S. Highway 26 Saturday afternoon on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation that claimed the lives of both drivers and sent three passengers to hospitals.
Troopers and Warm Springs Fire and Police responded around 3:30 p.m. Saturday to the crash near milepost 79.
OSP said a preliminary investigation found that Maxwell David Wheeler, 34, of Bellevue, Wash., was driving a Subaru Crosstrek SUV heading west on the highway when it collided with a GMC Savana van driven by Jesus Moises Paez Gomez, 34, of Hillsboro, which was towing a utility trailer.
Both drivers were declared deceased at the scene, troopers said. The van’s adult passengers, two Hillsboro men ages 52 and 29, were taken to St. Charles Madras by ambulance, while a 4-year-old boy, also from Hillsboro, was flown by Life Flight to OHSU in Portland.
Warm Springs Fire and Safety responded around 3:20 p.m. to the highway near milepost 78 and learned a van towing a trailer and a Subaru had collided on the highway, Firefighter EMT and Public Information Officer Garrett Webb said. The two drivers were deceased when they arrived.
The crash occurred about six miles south of the Warm Springs junction with state Highway 216 and prompted ODOT to provide a detour around the site until the roadway reopened by around 7:30 p.m.