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Double Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 58 east of Oakridge
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Saturday morning's single vehicle traffic crash on Highway 58 about fifteen miles east of Oakridge that resulted in the death of two people and non-life threatening injuries to a third. The three occupants are University of Oregon students.
According to OSP Sergeant Chris Ashenfelter, on January 22, 2011 at approximately 6:55 a.m. a 1987 BMW four-door driven by NICHOLAS JOHN RIES, age 21, from Portland, was eastbound on Highway 58 near milepost 51. Conditions were described as foggy with spots of ice. RIES reportedly lost control and the car traveled off the eastbound shoulder where the passenger side collided into a large tree.
An off-duty fire captain arrived at the scene and contacted RIES who was injured and outside of the car. The two male passengers were inside the car, one in the right front seat and the other in the rear seat, and both were believed to be deceased.
About ten minutes after the crash, Oakridge Fire Department personnel arrived on scene about the time the car caught fire with both victims still inside. The fire caused extensive damage before it was extinguished.
RIES was transported by Oakridge Fire Department to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend with serious, non-life threatening injuries.
The two victims are identified as:
  • Front right passenger COLLIN PHILLIP LA MORE, age 21. LA MORE previously resided in Tigard and next of kin now live in Stockton, California.
  • Rear passenger ELLIS MICHAEL HEYER, age 21, from Amherst, Massachusetts.
OSP troopers from the Oakridge and Springfield offices were on scene about five hours and are continuing the investigation with the assistance of the Lane County Medical Examiner.
Oakridge Police Department, Oakridge Fire Department, Central Cascade Fire Department, and ODOT assisted at the scene.
Any witnesses related to this fatal crash who have not spoken with OSP are asked to contact Senior Trooper Blaine Hlebechuk at (541) 726-2536 ext. 413.
No other information to be released at this time pending the ongoing investigation.