A 17-year-old Redmond driver was cited for careless driving when he allegedly sped up behind a vehicle in order to pass on the snow-covered highway, lost control and rear-ended the car, triggering a three-vehicle crash that injured the other two drivers on Tuesday night, deputies reported.
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chad Davis said deputies were dispatched to the scene on Highway 97 near milepost 125 in Redmond about 8:10 p.m., Christmas day.
Justin Ray Miller, 17, was driving a 1994 Ford Escort Wagon north on the snow-covered Highway 97 when he came upon a slower moving vehicle traveling in the same direction, Davis said.
The vehicle in front of him, a 1995 Mitsubishi Montero driven by 39-year old Bend resident Holly Christine Adams, was traveling about 35-mph, the investigation showed.
As Miller’s car approached from the rear and moved toward the right lane in order to pass, he lost control and rear-ended Adams’ vehicle, the sergeant said. The impact caused the headlights, tail lights, running lights, and all other lights on the teenager’s car to stop working, and his car -– now completely in the dark -– was then rear-ended by a third vehicle, a 2003 Toyota Camry.
Both Adams and the driver of the third vehicle, Anna Marie Dibben, 47, were transported to St. Charles Medical Center in Redmond for treatment of what Davis described as non-life threatening injuries.
Although the investigation is continuing, Miller was cited for careless driving and following too closely, the sergeant reported.
Deputies were assisted on scene by Oregon State Police troopers, Redmond Police officers, and Oregon Department of Transportation personnel. According to a news release, the northbound lanes of Highway 97 were closed for about ½ hour until the vehicles could be towed from the area.