A 30-year old Bend man was seriously injured when his SUV “jerked” into an oncoming lane of traffic on Highway 22 in Mill City yesterday, colliding head-on with a pickup in a crash that led to the death of the other driver and injury to a passenger, police reported.
A witness told Oregon State Police (OSP) that an eastbound 1995 Isuzu Rodeo driven by John Eric Young of Bend “jerked” into the oncoming lanes of traffic on Highway 22 near milepost 29 about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday. Young’s SUV struck a westbound 1999 Toyota Tacoma pickup driven by 51-year old James Kline of Gates, who attempted but was unable to avoid the crash.
According to an OSP news release, Kline was airlifted by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland and died early this morning.
Young was also transported by LifeFlight, and was reported to be in serious condition at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.
An unidentified female passenger in Kline’s pickup sustained minor injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to Santiam Hospital.
OSP troopers from the Salem Area Command office are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash.