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Metolius woman killed, 2 others injured in 4-vehicle Hwy. 97 crash near Terrebonne

Four-vehicle crash on Highway 97 north of Terrebonne closed the road for six hours
Redmond Fire & Rescue
Four-vehicle crash on Highway 97 north of Terrebonne closed the road for six hours

(Update: Oregon State Police release details)

TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Metolius woman was killed and two people were injured in a four-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 97 north of Terrebonne that closed the highway for six hours, Oregon State Police reported.

The crash was reported shortly before 5 p.m. near milepost 115, about two miles north of Terrebonne,100 feet south of the intersection with Northwest Eby Avenue and 1 1/2 miles south of the "High Bridge" over the Crooked River.

OSP said a 58-year-old Metolius man driving a Hyundai Elantra was heading south when he tried to pass a pickup truck, driven by a 32-year-old Redmond man, on the highway shoulder.

When the Elantra driver reentered the southbound lane, it struck the front of the pickup, sending the Elantra into the northbound lane, troopers said.

The Elantra then struck a Nissan Pathfinder driven by Jessica Shaw, 33, of Metolius, OSP said. Her SUV was pushed into the southbound lane, where it was struck by a Dodge tow truck driven by a 26-year-old Terrebonne man.

Shaw died at the crash scene, OSP reported. A Madras man who was a passenger in the Elantra was taken to St. Charles Redmond with serious injuries. The tow truck driver reported minor injuries.

No one else, including the tow truck passenger, reported being injured, troopers said, adding that the investigation of the crash is ongoing.

ODOT and other agencies had urged residents to use an alternate route, if possible, and TripCheck cameras showed long traffic backups in both directions. The highway reopened before 11 p.m.

Redmond Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Ken Brown said the four vehicles had been traveling at highway speeds. The crash left debris spread across more than 300 feet of the blocked two-lane highway,

Other agencies on the scene included Redmond police, ODOT and Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies.

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Barney Lerten

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

Comments

61 Comments

    1. And to the loved ones of the woman who tragically died — another death that **might** have been prevented if there was median barrier in place…..something that’s needed the entire stretch of Hwy 97.

      1. Always a tough judgment call on what comments to allow on a local story such as this. But discussing road design, safety efforts feels germane, if put sensitively.
        However, this is a two-lane stretch of road, so a barrier would be unusual. (Whether that part will be four lane at some point in the future, I don’t know.)

        1. Fife,
          It may be a 2 lane road but it’s heavily traveled at highway speeds.
          The question is, is how much of that 1.2 billion in infrastructure money is going to come to central Oregon. You could bet your last nickel if Hwy 97 was in the Portland metro area there would be a median.

          1. Either way, you can thank Democrats and 13 Republicans for getting it passed. Since Cliff Bentz voted against it, we can assume he doesn’t think his district needs any of it.
            But I agree, It would be nice if 97 was like I-5 the whole way.

            1. Bentz is smarter and he doesn’t want to waste tax payer money like the other Republican dopes. You know damn well it will be wasted for bike riders and not where the money is needed. Bloomin idiot from Portland would spend it all on bike paths but I hope when he is 83 will see how dumb he was.

            2. Kuya,
              You mean 13 RINO’S voted for it.
              If the infrastructure bill was truly an infrastructure rather than a bunch of pork barrel spending I’m certain this bill would have garnered more support from Republicans. The simple fact is Oregon is going to receive 1.2 billion from this bill which equates to about 1/10th of 1%,yes 1/10th of 1% of the total infrastructure bill. Where’s the rest of the dough going and how were the allocations decided? Either the bill is another cronie pork belly deal
              which is quite evident or we have extremely poor representation from the state of Oregon that sadly is a fact.

        2. So my comment was iffy to you but you’ve allowed all kinds of blathering about the infrastructure bill with no mention of the victims nor this likely-preventable death? SMH.

  1. Traffic was backed up for miles in both directions. I was southbound. I was told that the Troopers were not rerouting traffic by way of Eby Rd. I was allowed to take Eby Rd because I’m a local and know my way around. I guess the State Troopers forget that, these days, almost everyone carries a Mapping app in their pocket. Every mapping system has the equivalent of a GPS. No one was going to get lost if the rerouted down Eby Rd. They could have opened the gate to Ice Rd. into Crooked River Ranch and rerouted traffic that way as well. But they chose to make everyone wait until they cleared the scene of the accident. Traffic backed up to Redmond to the south and to Madras to the north and they refused to reroute traffic.

      1. I have no disrespect for law enforcement. Just a disagreement in the way they conducted traffic control. But then you are a liberal and liberals find anyone who disagrees with them in disrespect of them. Although I have no respect for you, I assure you that it’s not because I disagree with you. It’s based on your continuous disrespectful comments.

      1. I was born here. And you are correct. But what does that have to do with the rerouting of traffic down Eby Rd. or Ice Ave.? My comment had nothing to do with the driving conditions on our highways.

    1. Fedup~ you are complaining when a person died. You need to stifle it. Show some freaking compassion.

      And really ~ passing on the right is just plain careless…period.

    1. The 32 year old man was merely stopped on the shoulder. The article does not mention for what reason. What law did he violate to be placed in jail? Do tell.

      1. The graf reads:
        OSP said a 58-year-old Metolius man driving a Hyundai Elantra was heading south when he tried to pass a pickup truck, driven by a 32-year-old Redmond man, on the highway shoulder.

        In other words, they say he was trying to pass on the highway shoulder.

    2. JJ ~ can you read? the 58 year old is the guilty party! Passing on the right ~ is careless irresponsible driving. No discussion.

      People need to slow down, pay attention.

            1. Far from erring on the side of speech, you frequently choose to trample it and capriciously select what you choose to allow through. This results in some truly vile comments that appear and an emphatic suppression of certain viewpoints due to your own bias.

              1. Untrue, but you are entitled to your opinion. If you see a ‘vile comment,’ tell me and I will review it. That can lead to deletion. I have to go through these comments fast to focus on my other duties, of helping present the news. But we have received strong criticism of allowing dangerous misinformation on the vaccine. So we WILL ‘err on the side of caution’ if we cannot provide official/reputable media refutation. It’s also why many comment systems have gone away, even Fox News. NOT out of ‘censorship’ but because it’s simply not worth the time/effort to research who’s trusting untrustworthy sources.

                1. “Untrue” is an opinion unless you can back it up, and a matter of somewhat public record. Although the public isn’t privy to what you in your ultimate wisdom have deemed inappropriate, the publicly accessible records clearly reveal unmitigated bias.

                2. Believe what you will. We are not about to do deep research just to reach conclusions you deem untrue. We will trust authorities and report their information accurately and completely. Feel free to turn somewhere else that backs your beliefs.

  2. I would like to ask Peter Murphy to go back and read his comments about this stretch of road not being a priority. Prayers to this woman’s family.

  3. The highway from Madras to Terrebone cannot use a K rail concrete divider unless the shoulders are widened and improved. ODOT does not plan to do this type of large scale construction project within the next 10 years, as stated during the Bear Drive closures and Railroad track crossing meetings. The project is just too costly not just in materials and labor, but also in paying the many farmers who own property so close to the road. Also Pacific Power and underground utilities would have to be moved in many instances, it is a rather complicated issue indeed.
    The highway speed is 55 mph but that means everyone drives 60-70 mph and passes on the many straight sections of roadway that are not intended to be safe passing areas. The humps and shallow hills make it difficult to see safely and drivers have to drive like heck in order to pass in time.
    I have attended many of the ODOT meetings and the only way things get fixed is by writing constructive fact based letters to our State Representatives.
    It would be awesome if KTVZ did a story on what improvements could be done and how local residents feel about widening the roadway by giving up some of their land. Not everyone would be on board with the idea, but it would make for a very interesting story.
    To anyone else who wants to make a comment, please be respectful of those who were injured and post your constructive and specific ideas on how you would improve a few key stretches of road from Madras to Terrebonne.
    You can’t just add concrete the whole way, as there is no shoulder to safely drive onto when it is icy, windy, or foggy. You have to consider the whole situation and then spend tax money in a thoughtful methodical manner.
    My idea would be to widen a few sections of highway to add 4 lane passing lanes. One near the Maragas Winery, another near the Culver turnoff, and another near SW Bear Drive. This would only cost about 2 miles of property purchase and only about 1.5 miles of power pole/utility relocation. If drivers had just a few more places to safely pass on the flat ground, it could reduce collisions greatly.

    1. Even if ODOT put 4-lane passing zones every 5 miles or so, you’d still have lots of drivers willfully passing unsafely. Along with lots of other used-to-be-desirable qualities of sound character, using good judgement and having patience and concern for other’s safety no longer appear to be the norm.

      1. I used to do a lot of passing in that area. Time and experience have told me it is a dangerous waste of time as way more often than not you end up in the next town with the people you passed 5 miles ago right on your tail. It isn’t worth it.

      2. Just to validate your point. True story: this morning, at around 10:30 am, I was passed by a truck travelling northbound on Powell Butte Highway, about 1/4 mile south of the airport. I was going the speed limit. He passed, in a big pickup, over the double yellow line, with several cross streets coming up within the next 1/2 mile. This is about 1 mile before you get to the wide-open section of Powell Butte highway, where passing is easy. Totally foolish, dangerous driving, all to save maybe 10 seconds. I see more and more of this irrational behavior.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about this poor woman, and everyone who was injured, and their families. You are in our thoughts. Everyone who wasn’t hurt will still have very real trauma for quite some time, my heart goes out to you all as well.

    We were just saying the other day that the highway should be 4 lanes from Madras to LaPine, and from Prineville to Sisters. These highways are already super-busy, and there’s no good reason not to finally do something about it and add a couple lanes. Also, the ‘Save Terrebonne’ crowd can pound sand, this is partly your doing, this stretch of highway should have been upgraded eons ago.

    1. If you think that section of highway is ‘super busy’ you don’t get around much. Not trying to diss you, but there are many, many sections of Oregon highway with much higher traffic rates and dangerous conditions.

  5. Agreed some improvements can be made, but the key here is not the road, but the drivers on it. Its the “hooray for me, the hell with you” attitude of drivers and not caring what the consequences are.

  6. My original comment still pertinent: all you people asking for a safer wider highway should cough up the funds since having the gov do it would be socialism.

  7. The driver passing on the shoulder should be in jail for a very long time if that is what he did. No excuse. I had someone do the same thing a few weeks ago heading south into Bend. Came up hot but there was a car in the left lane going 65, I was going around 60 in the right lane and he didn’t want to wait for us to clear. He flew around me on the right using the shoulder, almost washed his back end out when he tried and came back in. Zero sympathy for anyone willing to do that.

  8. This news outlet has the annoying practice of printing an article on a recent news story with early limited information, and accepting public comments. Then it updates that article with new information but the original comments are still shown. Then later commenters tell the earlier commenters to “read the article”. To which I answer— We did read it.

  9. This is sadder than sad! That poor, innocent, young lady snuffed out in an instant by some idiot who was in a hurry. Shame on him and I hope this haunts him forever.

    Condolences to Jessica’s family and a speedy recovery to the other innocent ones that were
    injured and involved. I whish you all the best during this difficult time. 🙁

    P.S. Jessica was a mother of two little boys. 🙁

  10. So…. Was the pickup driver stopped and turning left when our non-skilled driver passed on the shoulder? Or was our 58 year old passing on the shoulder because he was following too close or texting or ??? and was now trying to avoid a rear end collision with the pick up? Or was our 58 year old just an impatient road rage maniac? Or was our 58 year old having a medical issue?

  11. Maybe OSP and ODOT could designate the stretch of highway between madras and Terrebone as a “Saftey Corridor” that would double the penalties for traffic fines.

  12. How does a person avoid arrest and being charged in an accident that involves passing a vehicle on the should of a highway and killing an innocent person?

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