Deschutes County

Three injured in 4-car Highway 97 crash

Collisions as heavy rain, hail fell near Sunriver

SUNRIVER, Ore. - Three people sustained non-life-threatening injuries in a four-car crash as heavy rain and hail fell on Highway 97 near Sunriver Thursday afternoon, Oregon State Police reported.

Around 2:45 p.m., a Mercury Cougar driven by Michael Russum, 50, of La Pine, was heading south on the highway near milepost 46 as the passing storm hit the area, said OSP Lt. Carl Rhodes.

Russum lost control and his car ran into an oncoming Chevy Malibu with four occupants, Rhodes said. It then hit a stationary Nissan pickup with one occupant, and continued south out of control, hitting a northbound Kia Soul driven by Melody Zankey, 55, with a female passenger, the lieutenant said.

Russum and the Kia's two occupants were taken by ambulance to St. Charles-Bend, Rhodes said. The pickup driver was unhurt, and while the Chevy's four occupants may have been hurt, they declined medical transport.

The crash blocked both northbound lanes of the highway for a time, then one lane for most of the afternoon, troopers said as the investigation continued.

OSP was assisted at the scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Sunriver and Bend fire departments and ODOT.

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