Oregon State Police troopers and emergency personnel responded Sunday evening to a report of a fatal head-on crash involving a passenger vehicle and semi-truck on Highway 20 near milepost 156 east of burns
Troopers say a 2015 Freightliner towing a flatbed trailer was traveling westbound on Highway 20 when it went out to pass a slower moving motorhome in a no passing area (double yellow line). While in the eastbound lane of travel, it encountered an oncoming 2005 Ford Focus. The driver of the focus swerved her vehicle towards the ditch to avoid striking the truck head-on. At the same time, the driver of the truck swerved towards the ditch as well. The vehicles collided head-on near the fogline of the highway.
The driver of the Ford, Sara E ALLISON, age 30, of Boise was pronounced deceased at the scene. A passenger in the vehicle, Matthew T ALLISON, age 27, also of Boise, was taken by air ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland for life threatening injuries. The driver of the Freightliner, James W DECOU, age 32, of Roy, Utah, was transported to Harney County Hospital where he was treated and released for minor injuries.
Highway 20 was closed for several hours for investigation of the crash. This is an ongoing investigation with potential criminal charges being considered.
There’s been a dramatic rise in accidents involving semi’s across the country. Semi involved crashes kill 4,000 people a year and that number is rising. Over 100,000 people are injured. That’s rising too. Not all of that is the fault of semi drivers. But rushed delivery schedules and lack of sleep is being blamed for a growing percentage of those accidents. Here’s a recent story on the rising threat of “pushin’ the petal to the metal” that is undeniably growing in this country. Click here for more.