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Update: Victim Tentatively Identified - Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 38 east of Scottsburg
01/06/2009
Lieutenant Steve Smartt
Oregon State Police - Coos Bay
Office: (541) 888-2677
 
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Oregon State Police troopers are continuing the investigation into Saturday afternoon's four vehicle fatal traffic crash that left one person dead and six others injured on Highway 38 east of Scottsburg in Douglas County.
 
The victim is tentatively identified as HEIDI ROSANNA JOHNSON, age 20, from North Bend. JOHNSON was traveling from North Bend to Springfield where she was a student at Lane Community College. Her dog also died in the crash.
 
On January 3, 2009 at 2:49 p.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) received a report of a multi-vehicle traffic crash on Highway 38 near milepost 20. Preliminary investigation indicates a Toyota Sequoia driven by JOHN FLAXEL, age 72, from Coos Bay, was westbound on Highway 38 approaching three eastbound vehicles when it crossed the centerline and sideswiped the first vehicle, a Ford F150 pickup, driven by KONRAD W. KENNELLY, age 50, from Port Angeles, Washington.
 
After sideswiping the pickup, the Toyota continued into the eastbound lane and collided head-on with a Volkswagen Jetta driven by JOHNSON causing it to land off the highway were it caught fire.
 
A third eastbound vehicle, a Chrysler minivan driven by SHIRLEY A. POWELL, age 59, from Sutherlin, saw the collision and steered to the right to avoid the Toyota. The minivan came to a stop off the highway in a ditch.
 
The Ford F150 pickup came to a stop overturned in the middle of the highway. KENNELLY and passenger MARTHA XITCO, age 50, from Port Angeles, Washington, received minor injuries and were transported by ambulance to Bay Area Hospital in Reedsport.
 
JOHN FLAXEL accompanied an OSP trooper to Bay Area Hospital for an evaluation where it was discovered he was bleeding internally. He was transported to a Eugene-area hospital by air ambulance. His passenger/wife, JOY FLAXEL, age unknown, was transported by air ambulance to Sacred Heart Hospital at RiverBend in Eugene.
 
SHIRLEY POWELL and passenger/husband EVERT POWELL, age 59, were transported with minor injuries by ambulance to Bay Area Hospital.
 
OSP troopers from the Coos Bay and Roseburg Area Command offices are continuing the investigation with the assistance of an OSP crash reconstructionist. Highway 38 was closed 3 hours before being opened to one lane. Highway conditions were wet.
 
Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Elkton Fire Department, Scottsburg Fire Department and ODOT assisted at the scene.