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Central Oregon

2 Madras residents killed in Hwy. 97 crash at O’Neil Junction north of Redmond

(Update: OSP identifies victims, provides details)

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Two Madras residents were killed Saturday afternoon in the collision of their mini-van with a semi-truck at the O’Neil Junction of Highway 97 and the O’Neil Highway north of Redmond, Oregon State Police reported Sunday.

OSP troopers and other emergency personnel responded around 1:20 p.m. to the reported crash, OSP Captain Tim Fox said.

A preliminary investigation found that Robert Gregg, 53, was driving a 2004 Honda Odyssey that was entering the highway when it was struck by a southbound truck hauling apples that was driven by a 56-year-old Colton, California man.

Gregg and his passenger, Antonia Romero, 46, sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene. The truck driver was unhurt, Fox said.

The crash partially closed Highway 97 for several hours. OSP was assisted at the scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Fire & Rescue and ODOT.

Redmond Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Ron Hawkins said the truck was hauling apples. Its load of boxes spilled from the trailer, which broke open when the rig overturned beside the highway.

Accidents and Crashes / Deschutes County / News / Redmond / Top Stories
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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.

Barney Lerten

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



      1. This is a very dangerous intersection. We were right behind the minivan and watched it get hit. It was an accident. The driver obviously did not see the truck coming. We are devastated by this tragedy and will not be using this intersection again.😢

    1. Obviously it’s not a hot news topic- even though some here have pointed out that there are far more mva fatalities here in CO than the political football of the day- it is truly sad that anytime this is pointed out Heir Modfhurer steps in to demand nobody discuss the obvious- that there are no guarantees in life- you can’t take away everyone’s civil liberties because of “accidents- human error- the risks that come with just getting out of bed everyday”… this is just an ongoing example… CO roads are poorly lit- people drive too fast- anytime people are involved- bad things happen !

      Welcome to planet Earth- third rock from the Sun !

      1. What’s “truly sad” is that you cannot understand (as most here do) that when local people are killed and we report on it, a modicum of respect for the deceased and their friends and family is called for, or comments are deleted.

        1. absolutely, the community can often come together to help the families. We are after all a community, and if those think it is not important to report, then perhaps returning to where ever it is you came from where no one cares would be a good plan

          1. Then you agree with me- that CO auto accidents in our CO region are deadlier than the corono-covid-wuhan virus hoax- and admitting that fact throws a ton of ice cold water on Kate Brown’s statewide mandates declaring that all life stops because of a pandemic that never arrived.

            For the record-

            A pandemic must first achieve “epidemic” status ! Epidemic defined- “An epidemic disease is one “affecting many persons at the same time, and spreading from person to person in a locality where the disease is not permanently prevalent.”

            It is safe to say that corona is not affecting many people here in CO- or in Oregon for that matter- there are small clusters and outbreaks- but of the 4.3 million population- less than 20,000 cases have been confirmed (.0005%)- we all were told those numbers would double daily… remember that ???

            Hasn’t happened- Isn’t happening- Won’t happen !

        2. No my friend- whats really sad is how you promote this corona covid Wuhan bat virus as if it’s some how more deadly than the common streets of CO. Cause if you did that- you’d have to admit that either auto accidents are worth shutting down the local economy- or the whole corona virus “pandemic” has been severely overblown.

          You can spin it any way you want- but deflecting from the seriousness of auto accidents to promote this corona hoax does a great disservice to your readers.

          1. I can repeat myself as much as you do. FACT: We don’t “promote.” We report. Facts, from official sources. We also don’t ‘deflect’ the tragic seriousness of crashes (comment critics have made me shy away from “accidents” though I do stand by the word.) The WORLD’s media outlets, no matter where on the political spectrum, is giving this top attention, understandably. But feel free to act like we’re some kind of outlier, when you wear that crown.
            Some say I do “a great disservice” by allowing you pretty much free rein to be so mean and waste so many people’s time. There are days when I have to agree.
            PS: If this is how you treat your “friends,” I hate to think how you treat your enemies. I am not your friend. Clearly you’re not mine.

      2. all motor vehicles are regulated for safety, 18-wheel operators are licensed [CDL] health physical required and drug screening.

        there are traffic regulations all motor vehicle operators are required to obey.

        all motor vehicle operators are required to have insurance or provide financial guarantee of self insurance.

        yet you decry wearing a mask, observing the requirements of social distancing by falsely claiming individual liberty trumps public safety and your bogus act of conscious is an arrogant conceit putting the lives of others needlessly at risk.

        do have a blessed day and know I will say a prayer for your misbegotten soul.

            1. And you are an illiterate fool who won’t admit when he’s wrong !

              On the upside- BL’s response should be noted for it’s historic value- the first time he’s actually stood up to set the record straight on my behalf- as awkward as it was- it is duly noted and appreciated.

        1. Interesting set of terms- but how so ?

          Do you believe that auto accidents in CO are not a serious problem-that the fact that we’ve seen more deaths on the roads this year than corona-covid’s- doesn’t that make you question our Governor’s priorities ?

          Yet you dare to call me callous and cruel ??????

          Go look in the mirror sunshine- tell me what you see- cause I see a hypocrite !

    1. I don’t think barriers work too well at intersections. This intersection needs a signal or roundabout. There’s not that much cross traffic, I’m guessing some folks avoid it, like I do. The flashing yellow light just ain’t cuttin’ it.

      1. It’s not an intersection. It is a 55mph (realistically 65mph) 4 lane highway with 2 opposing roads that give people the opportunity to try to blast across it. A median barrier would stop that.

  1. Looked at a piece of property out there last week, that interception is terrible even on an off peak afternoon. Drivers will not get better until total autonomous vehicles take over, so some thought needs to go into building better roads for the future. Having owned a home and lived in Sunriver since 1996, I have seen my share of things I wished I’d never seen. That part of 97 and its divided highway is now fantastic and has save countless lives.

  2. I use that intersection 2-5 times a day. It wasn’t so bad 40 years ago, now with 50 times the traffic at twice the speeds it needs a cloverleaf, or something.

  3. Given the traffic volume, a good solution is to raise 97 over O’Neil road, creating an underpass with exits and on-ramps. Traffic on hwy 97 is often going 65+ approaching this intersection with 2 lanes each way… particularly dangerous since visibility of 97 southbound approaching traffic is lessened by Cinder Butte curve coming over the hill.

    1. Yes, that is exactly what is needed! ODOT works far behind the times in realizing these things. They will likely either do nothing for another long time(with more deaths) or apply a bandaid fix that will not even meet what is needed now, and certainly not what will be needed in short term future. Population out here is exploding and will continue to do so. Of course, dollars are the bottom line, but what are lost lives worth? I dread driving that stretch of highway and only make the trip once a month and never on a Friday if avoidable. Local people feel that way, but then you add to the mix people coming here to recreate or join the growing population contributing to the problem sometimes with too much speed and some carelessness.

    2. First off, my condolences to the families of these fellow Central Oregonians.That said you have a really excellent idea for that intersection. On another note I’d like to know if that truck had any sort of GPS that would have recorded it’s speed, I’d be willing to bet it was way over the posted speed for trucks in that area. I see trucks hauling doubles running solid red lights doing 70 at the 97-126 intersection at least once a week.

      1. Your ‘bet’ is a great example of why we in general don’t name folks in crashes unless they are severely injured and/or charged by authorities. Officials have barely begun their investigation. Speaking of your experiences in the area is entirely germane, but please folks, don’t assume or presume here about a specific tragic incident, thank you.

  4. A round-a-bout there is a pretty bad idea. How about making it a right turn only spot? No crossing the highway, no left turn’s from 97, no left turns from NW Pershall Way or O’Neil Hwy. Place the K-rail barricades down the center from where they end now North to NW Galloway at the North end of the four-lane. Westside of the highway would have to travel to the cloverleaf at NW Canel to turn back North, South Bound on the East side of 97 would have to travel to O’Neil Hwy, turn on to NW Canel to go tho the Cloverleaf to get back onto 97 and Southbound.

  5. the interchange of 97 at NW 6th St from the southwest and Canal from the northeast should be the location for all traffic now going to NW Pershal Way from the west or Oregon Rt. 370 from the east to either cross or enter 97.

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