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Trooper and Citizens Help Pull Driver From Burning Car - Highway 101 south of Depoe Bay
02/26/2011
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Three people were injured, one seriously, when two vehicles collided Saturday afternoon on Highway 101 about two miles south of Depoe Bay near the top of Cape Foulweather. Following the collision one of the involved vehicles traveled over an embankment, struck a tree and caught fire. That vehicle's passenger, two others who stopped at the scene and an OSP trooper removed its driver as the vehicle became fully engulfed.
 
According to OSP Sergeant Justin McGladrey, on February 26, 2011 at approximately 4:06 p.m. a 2005 Mazda RX8 driven by NATHAN WELLS BIEL, age 25, from Lincoln City, was southbound on Highway 101 near milepost 130. While negotiating a curve, BIEL lost control and the Mazda began to spin into the northbound lane where it collided at an angle with a northbound 2009 GMC Sierra pickup driven by JAMES R. REED, age 60, from Lincoln City.
 
After impact, the Mazda continued across the northbound lane and over an embankment. The back of the vehicle impacted a tree and caught fire. Its right front passenger JOSHUA D. MEHL, age 25, from Albany, was able to get out and partially remove BIEL. OSP Trooper Darrel Van Hoose arrived about a minute after the crash. With the help of two passing motorists, the four were able to completely remove BIEL from the vehicle.
 
BIEL was initially transported by ambulance to Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport with serious injuries. He was later transported via REACH air ambulance to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.
 

MEHL was transported to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City where he was treated for minor injuries and released.
 
REED was transported to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released.
 
All occupants of both vehicles were believed to be using safety restraints and the GMC's airbags did deploy. Troopers investigating have not yet determined if the Mazda's airbags deployed due to fire damage.
 
One of the citizens who stopped to help was identified as Lucas Farmer, age 33, from Dundee. The second person's name was not obtained.
 

OSP troopers from the Newport Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Assisting agencies were Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Newport Police Department, Depoe Bay Fire & Rescue, ODOT, Lincoln County District Attorney's Office, Pac West Ambulance, REACH air ambulance, and the Lincoln County Multi Agency Crash Team (MAC-T).
 
Highway 101 was closed for approximately four hours.