Bend woman improving after Hwy. 20W crash

Driver also cited after SUV crosses center line E. of Sisters

SISTERS, Ore. - A 60-year-old Bend woman was critically injured Wednesday morning when her SUV crossed the center line of Hwy. 20W just east of Sisters and struck the rear of a truck that flipped onto its side, Oregon State Police said.

Firefighters freed Jill Beaman from the wreckage of her 2004 Honda Element and she was flown by Life Flight helicopter to St. Charles Bend, where a spokeswoman said she was in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.

By Thursday morning, Beaman had improved to serious condition, the hospital reported.

Around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Beaman was heading west on the highway near milepost 1 when it crossed the center line, troopers said. The driver of the eastbound box truck, Jorge Malpica, 42, of Vancouver, Wash., tried to avoid the Honda but was hit in the left rear axle area, troopers said.

The truck turned onto its side and the Honda came to rest on the highway.

Malpica received a minor injury and did not require transport to the hospital, troopers said. The truck's passenger, Guillermo Gomez Jovel, 34, of Beaverton, also received minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to the Bend hospital.

After the investigation, Beaman also was cited for failing to maintain a lane of travel, troopers said.

All three people were wearing seat belts, they added.

The highway was blocked for about an hour, then open to one lane in alternating directions with flaggers until the vehicles were removed. It was fully open again around noon.

OSP was assisted at the scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Black Butte Ranch Police Department, Black Butte Ranch Rural Fire District, Sisters - Camp Sherman Fire District, Cloverdale Fire Department and ODOT.

Earlier, traffic was being detoured onto Highway 126 and Cloverdale Road. Motorists were urged to avoid the area.

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