Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 221 north of Salem
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

One person was killed and another seriously injured in a three-vehicle fatal traffic crash Tuesday evening on Highway 221 north of Salem. Troopers are still seeking contact with two occupants of a third vehicle who reportedly walked away from the scene before they could be identified.
According to Oregon State Police Sergeant Dale Young, on June 24, 2008 at approximately 7:07 p.m. a green 1997 Ford Escort four-door driven by SEPTEMBER MARIE HAWKS, age 50, from southeast Salem, was northbound on Highway 221 near milepost 12 when it attempted to pass a vehicle in a no passing zone. The Ford clipped a northbound travel trailer and continued into the southbound lane where it crashed head-on with a 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle operated by BRIAN RON BEHLING, age 47, from Salem.
After initial impact the motorcycle was struck by a southbound gray 1991 Toyota Tercel with two unidentified occupants. The motorcycle and Toyota both caught fire, but the Toyota's two occupants were able to get out with the assistance of people who stopped at the scene.
BEHLING was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was wearing a protective helmet.
HAWKS was seriously injured. She was transported by LifeFlight to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. She is reported in critical condition. Witnesses reported HAWKS' car was driving erratically.
Dayton Fire Department personnel responded and extinguished the fire.
After remaining at the scene for a few minutes, the Toyota's two occupants were seen walking away southbound from the scene and have not been identified. They are only described as two Hispanic males. Investigators need to interview both men and they are asked to call Oregon State Police Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888.
Highway 221 was closed about 4 1/2 hours. ODOT and other local emergency responding agencies assisted at the scene.