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‘Bring your speed down’: Bend Police voice plea to avoid more tragedies after three recent deadly crashes

(Update: Adding video, comments from Bend Police lieutenant)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – "The community of Bend had a tough week -- we had two fatal crashes in the span of one week," Bend Police Lieutenant Brian Beekman told us Monday. Another man also died after a recent crash.

A 23-year-old La Pine man was killed and the driver and a second passenger were injured in a single-vehicle rollover crash late Saturday night on SE 15th Street. Speed and alcohol were apparent factors in the crash, police said Sunday as they asked to hear from any witnesses.

Since January 1st, the city has seen nearly 1,200 crashes.

Just in the past week, three people have died in Bend from crash injuries. There have been four total fatalities this year, twice as many as last year's total.

"Generally, year over year in Bend, we're in the low single digits. Two, three, four fatalities is usually what occurs in Bend," Beekman said.

One of those fatal crashes happened last Friday morning, when police said 74-year-old motorcyclist Ronald Michael Quinn failed to stop his Harley-Davidson at a stop sign at the intersection of Knott and China Hat roads and hit a Tesla.

"We believe the driver that is now deceased likely caused the accident by their driving, so there is no citation that is pending in that case," Beekman said.

Bend's second deadly crash in as many days was reported around 11:40 p.m. Saturday on SE 15th Street, south of the intersection with Bear Creek Road, Beekman said. Sunday evening, he identified the passenger killed in the crash as Jacobic Lee Barnhill, 23, of La Pine.

Bend Fire and Rescue crews responded and removed the driver, a 23-year-old Bend man, and second passenger, a 22-year-old Redmond woman, from the crashed car, and both were taken to St. Charles Bend, Beekman said. The three were in a 2012 Ford Focus that had been traveling on 15th Street when it left the roadway and overturned.

Members of the Bend Police crash reconstruction team were called in to investigate. A stretch of 15th Street was closed until about 6 a.m. Sunday.

As of Monday afternoon, no citations have been issued to the driver. "If there were crimes or violations related to that crash, we will take action once we have enough facts to support that action" Beekman said.

A third fatality came after an elderly man was struck in this unmarked crosswalk while on a morning walk.

It happened just before 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14 at the corner of NW York and Charbonneau Drive.

That driver has also not been cited as of Monday.

Besides not driving a vehicle while under the influence, Beekman offered drivers an important way to prevent future tragedies: "Bring your speed down. It's going to make everyone around you safer, it's going to make you safer and help you avoid the crash."

According to ODOT, crashes have claimed 401 lives around Oregon this year, including 66 pedestrians.

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.

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Barney Lerten

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


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