April 24, 2013
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into the cause of last Wednesday morning's single vehicle fatal traffic crash that occurred along Highway 126W about two miles west of Eugene. The crash resulted in the death of a Veneta man who was positively identifed and whose name is released in this update.
On April 17, 2013 at approximately 4:07 a.m., OSP troopers were dispatched to a vehicle fire along on Highway 126W near milepost 51. An OSP trooper was first on scene and confirmed an occupied vehicle had traveled off the south side of the highway and caught fire after colliding with a tree. The vehicle was fully engulfed and Central Lane Fire Department was on scene attempting to extinguish the fire.
Preliminary investigation indicates a 1995 Jeep Cherokee westbound on Highway 126W when, for unknown reason, it veered to the left across the eastbound lane and went off the highway colliding into a tree just off the south side shoulder. The lone occupant was later found to be deceased seated in the driver seat of the vehicle.
According to Sergeant Alan Gilbert, the driver is identified as BRANDON TODD JOHNSTON, age 27, from Veneta.
OSP troopers from the Springfield Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Lead investigator is Trooper Hank Duren.
ODOT and Central Lane Fire Department assisted at the scene.