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Apr 03,2007
Two killed, child injured in crash near Oregon coast
by Bend Weekly News Sources

Two Shelton, Washington residents were killed and a seven-year-old girl received non-life threatening injuries in a single vehicle crash on Highway 38 about five miles east of Scottsburg near the southern Oregon coast, Oregon State Police (OSP) reported. Investigators believe the crash may have happened early Monday morning but wasn’t discovered and reported until late Monday afternoon.


James Oien and Darla Whitener were killed, and 7-year-old Emily Whitener was injured in this crash on Highway 38 near the southern Oregon coast – OSP photo 

Shortly after 5:30 p.m., April 2, a report was received of a vehicle off the side of Highway 38 near milepost 24. Upon arrival of emergency responders, two deceased adults and an injured child were found inside a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am with Washington license plates. The injured child was transported by air ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene with non-life threatening injuries.

Preliminary investigation indicates that possibly around 1:00 a.m. Andrew James Oien, 23, was traveling west on Highway 38 when he failed to negotiate a right-hand curve, troopers said.  The car left the highway and over an embankment, striking a tree.  According to Washington Department of Motor Vehicles, Oien’s driving privileges were suspended.

Oien and his front-seat passenger, 25-year old Darla J. Whitener, were pronounced deceased at the scene.  They are believed to have been wearing safety restraints, and both front airbags in the vehicle deployed.

Whitener’s 7-year-old niece, Emily Whitener of Olympia, Washington was seated with safety restraints in the left rear seat and was injured, troopers said.  She remained in the car until sh was discovered by rescue personnel who provided initial medical reatment before she was transported to the hospital.  On Tuesday morning hospital staff reported she is in fair and stable condition.

OSP troopers said that the trio left the Wilsonville area on Sunday about 10:30 p.m., and were on their way to Winchester Bay to meet with family.

Oregon State Police troopers from the Coos Bay Area Command office are continuing the investigation.   Assistance at the scene provided by Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Oregon Department of Transportation, and numerous local fire and rescue personnel. Highway 38 was closed about three hours during the scene investigation.

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