REDMOND, Ore. - Oregon State Police said Wednesday are seeking witnesses as they investigate a fatal three-vehicle crash on Highway 97 south of Redmond Tuesday evening – the second deadly crash on the Central Oregon highway in 24 hours.
Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a multiple-vehicle crash on Highway 97 near milepost 126 (south of Redmond, near Tomahawk Avenue and Green Acres RV Park), said OSP Captain Bill Fugate
Upon arrival, he said, emergency responders found one driver had died and two others were injured.
A preliminary investigation found that a 2006 Saturn Ion sedan driven by Kylee Bruce, 24, of Redmond, was heading south on Highway 97 when she lost control while making a pass.
The Saturn slid sideways into the northbound lanes, where it was struck on the side by a 2005 Pontiac sedan driven by Josue Chavez Soriano, 46, of Redmond, who had been heading north in the left lane, Fugate said.
Bruce’s car then struck an oncoming 2017 BMW X5, driven by Jennifer Oulman, 37, also of Redmond, who had been in the northbound right lane, before coming to rest on the highway.
Bruce was pronounced dead at the scene, Fugate said. Soriano was taken to St. Charles Redmond and Oulman to St. Charles Bend, both with non-life-threatening injuries, he added
The crash and investigation closed Highway 97 for about 90 minutes, Fugate said. One lane was then opened for alternating traffic until the highway was fully cleared around 11:45 p.m.
Fugate said OSP is seeking witnesses to the crash. Anyone who might have seen it occur was asked to call the Oregon State Police Northern Command Center at 503-375-3555.
OSP was assisted by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Redmond Police, Bend Police, Redmond Fire and Rescue and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
More information will be released as it becomes available, Fugate said, as the investigation continues.
A GoFundMe page to help with Bruce's funeral expenses is at https://www.gofundme.com/kylee-bruce-memorial-expenses
A Madras man and 10-year-old boy were killed in another Highway 97 crash, Monday evening on Highway 97 about seven miles south of Madras.
That stretch of road has two lanes, while the one in Tuesday night's crash has four lanes.
With traffic volumes on the rise for the holidays and more cold, winter weather in the forecast, Fugate said, "One thing I really always urge people to do is to go to tripcheck.com and know before you go. Know what the weather conditions and know when events like this happen, so you can plan accordingly and take alternate routes."