An older couple from Lincoln City were headed southbound on Highway 97 late Wednesday afternoon when, for some reason, instead of following the curve at the top of a hill 20 miles north of Bend, the RV went straight, crossing all lanes of travel, left the pavement, and slammed into a tree. The RV then careened toward some farm buildings and a home near the bottom of the hill. It finally came to stop just short of the buildings.
Driver Samuel Burke was very badly injured and at one point was reported to be not breathing. Paramedics quickly loaded him aboard an ambulance and raced with full lights and sirens south on Canal toward the hospital where he later died. His wife Kathleen was suffering from a serious head wound but was talking with her rescuers as they loaded her aboard another ambulance.
Two residents told Redmond News Today that they were in the back yard and saw the RV bearing down on them. They said they ran laterally to the direction the RV was going. They say they got out of the way just in time.
No word yet on what caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle.