One woman died and six others were seriously injured Saturday afternoon in a head-on crash about six miles west of Bend on Highway 20, authorities reported. All persons involved in the three-vehicle collision were from the Central Oregon area.
Shortly before 3 p.m., March 17, a silver 1999 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Beverly Leatrice Walter, 52, of Sunriver, was eastbound on Highway 20 near milepost 9 when it crossed into the westbound lane, Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers reported.
Walter’s vehicle narrowly avoided hitting two vehicles, then collided head-on with a gold 2001 Chevrolet Suburban driven by 43-year old Carlos Lara of Bend. A westbound 2005 Volkswagon Passat that was following behind the Suburban then crashed into both the Jetta and the Chevrolet.
|A Sunriver woman was killed and six others from Central Oregon were seriously injured in a three-vehicle crash about six miles west of Bend on Highway 20 Saturday afternoon – OSP photo |
Walter was pronounced dead at the scene, and her five-year-old granddaughter, Ariana, was critically injured and transported by ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center (SCMC) in Bend.
Carlos Lara and all four passengers in his Suburban -- Jennifer Lara, 35; and three boys -- were reportedly seriously injured and also taken to SCMC. The boys were identified as Zachary Lara, Zane Lara, and Clayton Easterbrooks.
The four Terrebonne occupants of the Passat were not injured, troopers said. Gregory Jolliffe, 32, was identified as the driver, and his wife 31-year old Alecia Jolliffee and two boys, ages five and 10 were unharmed.
Initial investigation suggests that all parties were wearing safety restraints and that the airbags in all three vehicles deployed, troopers reported.. However, the five-year-old child was not properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat, and was using a seat belt only.
Troopers from the Bend Area Command office are continuing the investigation. The cause of the crash is still undetermined.