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Minor Injury Traffic Crash Involving OSP - Highway 26 east of Elsie
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) completed the on-scene investigation into Monday morning's minor injury crash involving an OSP sergeant and a passenger car on Highway 26 in the Coast Range east of Elsie. No one required transport to a hospital in the crash that partially blocked the highway for about two hours.
On March 12, 2012 at approximately 8:07 a.m. OSP Sergeant Andrew Merila was clearing the scene of a traffic crash on Highway 26 near milepost 31 when a passing motorist advised him of another minor crash west of that location. As Merila headed westbound at 20 to 25 mph due to heavy snow road conditions an eastbound 1997 Mercedes four-door lost control coming out of a curve and slid broadside into the westbound lane.
Merila tried steering left to avoid the oncoming car but struck the rear passenger side. The impact spun the Mercedes around and it collided into the right side of the OSP 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe sport utility patrol vehicle.
Merila was using safety restraints and his vehicle's airbag deployed. He had a minor injury not requiring medical treatment at the scene.
The Mercedes was occupied by driver BRETT L. VERHULST, age 40, from Naselle, Washington, and passenger JEFFREY HAYES, age 47, from Warrenton. Both men are in the U.S. Coast Guard. VERHULST was not injured. HAYES received minor injury not requiring transport to a hospital. They were using safety restraints.
Both vehicles were towed from the scene due to damage. No citations were issued.
OSP was assisted at the scene by Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, Elsie-Vinemaple Rural Protection Fire District, and ODOT.