Update Saturday, June 30th
Nine year old Katelyn Carlson of Waldport continues to recover from injuries she suffered when a drunk driver, with a long history of alcohol abuse, hit her grandparent’s car head-on as they returned home from the valley on Highway 34 near Tidewater. Katelyn’s father, Chris Carlson, says Katelyn is making steady progress but that her injuries will keep her in Randell Children’s Hospital in Portland for several more days. After that they expect she will return home where she’ll be closely monitored throughout the remainder of her recovery. Katelyn suffered serious internal injuries from the crash which also put her grandparents in the hospital for a short time. They have already returned home. Seat belts and air bags played a big role in all three surviving the horrendous crash.
Driver of the pickup that hit them, David Juenke, remains in a trauma center in Corvallis with serious injuries. Later he was determined to have been drunk at the time of the accident and not wearing a seat belt. The OSP said he was also driving without a drivers license since it had been revoked on a previous drunk driving conviction.
Chris Carlson told News Lincoln County that they appreciate all the good wishes and prayers from the public and their family friends. He said the outpouring of support from the Waldport community has been warm and generous and that he can’t thank them enough.
Mr. Carlson says Katelyn occasionally talks with them but that she slips easily back to sleep. He said they’re very grateful that their family was lucky enough to endure the trauma of what happened and that Katelyn and her grandparents are still here.
THE ORGINAL STORY AS REPORTED BY OREGON STATE POLICE
Update from Kyle Smallwood: “Out of one vehicle there was three sent to the hospital. Two were released. One is still serious but stable. Happened at Crusher Corner just east of Hootenanny.”
Oregon State Police (OSP), with the assistance of the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office, is continuing the investigation into Tuesday evening’s two vehicle serious injury traffic crash on Highway 34 east of Tidewater. Four people were transported to hospitals, two of which had serious injuries.
According to Sergeant Cari Boyd, on June 26, 2012 at approximately 6:10 p.m. a 1983 GMC pickup driven by DAVID PARKER JUENKE, age 59, from Tidewater, was eastbound on Highway 34 near milepost 16 when it failed to negotiate through a curve and crossed the centerline. The GMC pickup crashed nearly head-on into a westbound 2012 Toyota Camry with three occupants.
JUENKE was not using safety restraints and was transported by REACH air ambulance to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis with serious injuries. He was operating the pickup with revoked driving privileges in Oregon.
The three occupants of the Toyota were identified as driver JAMES P. SZABO, age 63; right front passenger JANE M. SZABO, age 62; and, left rear passenger KATELYN CARLSON, age 9. Mr. and Mrs. SZABO are from Waldport. CARLSON’s city of residence is not available. All three were using safety restraints and were transported by ambulance to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport.
CARLSON was later taken by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland where she is being treated in the pediatric intensive care unit for serious injuries.
OSP troopers from the Newport Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Alcohol is a contributing factor for driver JUENKE.
OSP was assisted at the scene by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office, Central Coast Fire Department, and ODOT. The highway at the scene was closed for 5 hours.