Mar 27,2008 00:00
BEND, Ore. – Hazardous ice and snow covered road conditions contributed to a two-vehicle collision on Highway 97 south of Bend Wednesday morning that led to the death of a La Pine passenger and injuries to both drivers, police reported.
Bend resident 56-year old Laurel Inda was traveling south on U.S. 97 at milepost 145 near the High Desert Museum about 7 a.m., March 26 when her 1999 Ford crossed the centerline and was struck by an oncoming car, Oregon State Police (OSP) Lt. Jason Bledsoe said.
Inda’s vehicle was hit by a 1994 Toyota Corolla operated by Joseph Jackson, 74, of La Pine.
Both drivers were injured, Bledsoe said, as well as a passenger riding in the Toyota. All were transported by ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.
Inda was treated and released with minor injuries, Jackson was held overnight for observation, and the passenger died about four hours later, Lt. Bledsoe said.
The deceased passenger was identified as 69-year old Alethea R. Jackson of La Pine.
Troopers said that alcohol and drugs don’t appear to be involved, and extremely hazardous road conditions from overnight ice and snow existed.
“Drivers need to be aware that winter driving conditions are still likely in Central Oregon,” OSP Sgt. Paul Collinsworth said. “It is imperative that drivers slow down, especially if they have already removed their traction tires, and account for their increase in travel time," he continued.