A 57-year-old La Pine woman was killed Friday evening when she lost control of her pickup truck on snowy Highway 97 south of Sunriver and it was struck by an oncoming semi-truck, Oregon State Police said
Troopers and medics responded around 5 p.m. to the reported two-vehicle crash on the highway near milepost 155, south of the Vandevert Road intersection, between Sunriver and La Pine, said OSP Captain Bill Fugate
The preliminary investigation found that a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Lola Maye Stanphill was heading south on the highway when she lost control and it crossed into the northbound lane of the snow- and ice-covered highway, Fugate said.
He said the pickup was sliding sideways when it was hit by a 2003 International tractor towing a trailer, a Coca-Cola delivery truck.
Stanphill died at the scene, while the truck driver, Phillip J. Clark, 54, of Bend, was unhurt, Fugate said. The name of the woman who died was withheld, pending notification of family.
Highway 97 was closed for almost three hours while the crash was investigated. OSP was assisted on the scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Sunriver Police, Sunriver Fire, La Pine Fire and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The holiday travel period began with more snow, slick roads and crashes and slide-offs around the High Desert Friday and Saturday.
After the crash near Vandevert Road, the sheriff's office urged motorists to avoid the area and take other routes if possible.
Just as OSP concluded that on-scene investigation and ODOT reopened the snow-packed highway came word of a jackknifed semi-truck about seven miles north, near Lava Butte, again blocking the lanes for a time
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It was another challenging afternoon on area roads, as a crash was reported earlier in the area of Knott and China Hat roads.
Also, China Hat Road was blocked at the BNSF Railway crossing for a time due to a freight train's locomotive on fire.
Railroad spokesman Gus Melonas in Seattle confirmed the "locomotive was on fire, but (it) went out when (the) locomotive was shut down."
Saturday brought more roll-over and other crashes on Highway 97 near Lava Butte, as well as other area roads, as the latest light snowfall turned to ice in colder temperatures.