March 23, 2013
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Photograph links valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
Six people were injured Friday afternoon in a multi-vehicle traffic crash in the Salt Creek Tunnel on Highway 58 east of Oakridge. Icy road conditions were a contributing factor in the crash that closed the highway for two hours.
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Senior Trooper Ron Martin, on March 22, 2013 at approximately 4:10 p.m., troopers, local emergency responders and ODOT personnel responded to the crash on Highway 58 near milepost 56. Preliminary investigation indicates a westbound 1999 Ford Explorer driven by TANYA DAWES, age 41. from Klamath Falls, entered the tunnel and lost control on the icy roadway. The Ford Explorer collided into the wall of the tunnel and then collided with an eastbound 1990 Volvo station wagon driven by NEIL HUBLER-DAYTON, age 21, from Eugene. A third vehicle, a westbound 1998 Ford Taurus driven by JESSE BENSON, age 44, from Lebanon, spun out in the tunnel trying to stop and collided with a westbound commercial truck driven by JERRY HATTON, age 59, from Bullhead City, Arizona.
BENSON was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield with serious injuries. His wife and three juvenile age children were transported by ambulance with minor injuries.
HATTON also transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He was treated and released.
No others involved were reported injured.
OSP troopers were assisted at the scene by Oakridge Fire Department and ODOT. The highway was blocked for 2 hours as ODOT personnel from Springfield, Oakridge and Chemult worked to open it as soon as possible.