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OSP identifies La Pine woman, 77, killed in two-vehicle crash on Highway 97 at Hwy. 31 junction

Fatal 2-vehicle crash Friday closed Hwys. 97 and 31 for a time at their intersection south of La Pine
ODOT TripCheck
Fatal 2-vehicle crash Friday closed Hwys. 97 and 31 for a time at their intersection south of La Pine

(Update: correcting that woman killed was passenger in car, not SUV)

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – Oregon State Police on Saturday identified a 77-year-old La Pine woman who was killed Friday on U.S. Highway 97 when the driver of an SUV turned left onto state Highway 31 and it was struck by an oncoming car, whose passenger was killed.

A preliminary investigation found that an 87-year-old Fort Rock woman was driving a southbound Chevy Trail Blazer and was in the left-turn lane, troopers said. She tried to turn left, crossing the oncoming lane, and was struck by a northbound Dodge Dart driven by a 22-year-old La Pine woman.

The Dodge's passenger, Joanne Lee Banzer, 77, of La Pine, died at the crash scene. The drivers of the SUV and car suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital for evaluation, troopers said.

Highway 97 was closed or restricted for about 3 ½ hours during the on-scene investigation.

Despite slick roads in the region, “roadway conditions do not appear to be a contributing factor to this crash,” troopers said in their update.

OSPO was assisted at the scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, La Pine Rural Fire District and ODOT.

Troopers had said Friday the stretch of highway is very icy and urged motorists to slow down or avoid travel in the area, if they can. You can check traffic updates at our ODOT TripCheck page.

Six people, including five members of a Bend family, were killed in two crashes Wednesday on Highway 97 to the south, near the Highway 58 intersection in northern Klamath County.

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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