Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image
News
Double Fatal Traffic Crash - I5 South of Eugene
06/18/2009
Sergeant Daniel Swift
Oregon State Police
Office: (503) 323-3195

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Parents of Kailee Coontz
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-06/scan0001.jpg
 
About 8:50 PM on June 17th, 2009, Oregon State Police troopers from the Springfield Area Command responded to a reported head-on traffic collision on southbound I-5 at Mile Post 182. This is about thirteen miles south of Eugene in the Creswell area.
 
The investigation indicates that a motor home, being driven by Stephen Whitaker, 41, of Cottage Grove, Or. was northbound on I-5 in the Creswell area. For an unknown reason, Whitaker lost control of the motor home and it crossed the center median and struck a southbound Oldsmobile Alero head-on. The Oldsmobile was being driven by Cathleen Coontz,35, of Springfield, Or. In addition to Cathleen Coontz, the Oldsmobile was also occupied by Brian Coontz, 35, and Kailee Coontz, 5, also of Springfield, Or.
 
Both Cathleen and Brian Coontz were treated and released with minor injuries from local area hospitals. Kailee Coontz was pronounced deceased at the scene. Cathleen and Brian Coontz were both wearing seat belts and Kailee was properly seated in a booster seat with a seat belt on as well.
 
Whitaker was taken to Riverbend hospital in Bend where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. A passenger in Whitaker's motor home was transported by Life-Flight to Riverbend hospital where he was pronounced deceased. His name is not being released pending notification of next of kin.
 
Both southbound lanes of I-5 were closed for about forty five minutes while emergency crews worked at the scene. The left lane was re-opened prior to 10:00 PM while the right southbound lane remained closed while troopers from the OSP Collision Reconstruction Unit completed their investigation. All lanes were re-opened about 2:00 AM.
 
The investigation into the cause of the collision is still continuing and OSP is being assisted in this investigation by the Lane County District Attorney's office. OSP was assisted at the scene by the Lane Co. Sheriff's Dept, the Goshen Fire Dept. and ODOT.