A young Bend woman died Sunday evening after losing control on Interstate 5 about one mile south of Rogue River, crossing the center median and then colliding with a car and a commercial truck towing a semi-trailer. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers investigating the crash are seeking witnesses related to this incident.
18-year old Kasey Murphy of Bend was killed 6 p.m. November 26 when her 1996 Subaru Outback station wagon was southbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 47 and, for unknown reasons, it lost control and crossed through the center grass median. As the Subaru exited the grass median toward the northbound lanes, it went airborne and clipped a northbound 1994 Ford Taurus driven by Gary Madden, 45, from Roseburg. After clipping the Ford Taurus the Subaru continued airborne, striking the hood of a northbound 2001 Peterbilt commercial truck towing a semi-trailer loaded with grocery goods. The Subaru then continued about 300 feet before coming to a stop in the middle of the northbound lanes. The commercial truck continued north, traveling through the center median before coming to a stop partially blocking the inside southbound lane.
Murphy, a student at Southern Oregon University, was pronounced deceased at the scene. She was using safety restraints and her car's airbag deployed.
Madden was using safety restraints and received minor injuries that did not require medical treatment.
The driver of the truck, 30-year old David Kumar of Woodland, California, received minor injuries and was transported by Mercy Flights ground ambulance to Providence Medford Medical Center.
OSP troopers from the Central Point Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Troopers are very interested in talking to any southbound witnesses who saw the victim's vehicle lose control and begin to cross the center median. Any witnesses related to this investigation are asked to contact OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at 800-442-2068.
OSP was also assisted by the Oregon Department of Transportation and Rogue River Fire Department. Northbound lanes were closed for 2 1/2 hours with a detour re-routed via Highway 99. One southbound lane remained open.