A 48-year-old Blue River woman suffered fatal injuries Monday night when her SUV crossed the center line of Highway 126E near Clear Lake and collided nearly head-on with an oncoming semi truck, Oregon State Police reported.
The crash, shortly before 8 p.m., killed Darla Renee Lamb and blocked the highway for more than two hours, about four miles south of Santiam Junction, troopers said. The truck driver had minor injuries.
First responders were dispatched to the crash near milepost 6 and Carmen Reservoir Road, troopers said.
While en route to the scene, OSP was notified by Lane County sheriff’s deputies of a welfare-check “attempt to locate” alert for a woman driving a 2007 Toyota RAV 4 “who made statements she may harm herself,” troopers said.
A trooper who arrived at the scene of the crash around 8:45 p.m. noted the SUV matched the description of the one sought by deputies.
By then, medics from the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District and Black Butte Fire and Rescue said the woman had been removed from the wreckage and flown by helicopter to St. Charles Medical Center-Bend with serious injuries.
An initial investigation indicated Lam’s SUV was eastbound when it crossed the center line and collided with a westbound 2013 Volvo truck and semi trailer, troopers said.
After impact, the semi went off the south shoulder into the trees, where it came to rest.
Witnesses told OSP the Toyota was driving recklessly at a high rate of speed before the crash.
Lamb died of her injuries at the Bend hospital late Monday night, troopers said. Seat belt use is not known, but the SUV’s airbags did deploy, they said.
Truck driver Donald Cloe, 77, of Las Vegas, was taken by ambulance to the Bend hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The driver for Swift Transportation was wearing his seat belt, troopers said.
OSP also was assisted at the scene by Black Butte Ranch police and ODOT.