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Triple Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 35 south of Hood River
01/03/2009
Sergeant Julie Wilcox
Oregon State Police - The Dalles
Office: (541) 296-9646

Photograph link valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Friday night's two-vehicle crash that resulted in the death of three Parkdale-area women Friday night on Highway 35 about two miles south of Hood River. This tragic crash is a reminder of the dangers when traveling on icy stretches of highway even if the air temperature is above freezing.
 
According to OSP Sergeant Julie Wilcox, on January 2, 2009 at 8:42 p.m. a 1997 Geo Metro driven by CHEREE CLUFF, age 24, from Parkdale, was southbound on an uphill curve when it slid out of control on black ice. The Geo crossed into the northbound lane and collided with a 2007 Jeep Wrangler driven by VINCENT HOGAN, age 24, from Tacoma, Washington. Both vehicles came to a stop on the northbound side.
 
CHEREE CLUFF and right front passenger JAN CLUFF, age 16, were pronounced deceased at the scene. Two other passengers, CLARISSA ORTIZ, age 13, from Parkdale, and SHANNON CLUFF, age 13, was transported to Providence Hood River Hospital.
 
ORTIZ was critically injured and died from those injuries at the hospital.
 
SHANNON CLUFF was ejected from the car and received non-life threatening injuries.
 
The three deceased victims were using safety restraints. SHANNON CLUFF was not using safety restraints.
 
The CLUFF women are sisters and ORTIZ is a friend of SHANNON CLUFF.
 
None of the four occupants of the Jeep Wrangler were injured. All were using safety restraints. The three passengers are identified as KERRY CAFAZZO, age 22, from Tacoma; JENNIFER BRAVO, age 20, from Puyallup, Washington; and, DYLAN MILLS, age 24, from Fort Lewis, Washington.
 
Sergeant Wilcox noted OSP troopers were already working several other crashes related to black ice conditions on Interstate 84 at the time of this crash. "Monitor the temperature and remember that ice-related crashes can occur even when the air temperature is well over freezing. Severe black ice conditions were present even with an air temperature of 38 degrees," said Wilcox.
 
Highway 35 was closed in both directions for three hours.
 
OSP troopers were assisted by Hood River County Sheriff's Office deputies, Hood River Police Department and ODOT.