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Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 22 west of Santiam Pass Junction
08/01/2009
Sergeant Dale Young
Oregon State Police - Salem
(503) 378-3387

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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A Salem-area woman died after she apparently fell off the motorcycle she was a passenger on as she and her husband traveled on Highway 22 west of the Santiam Junction. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers investigating the crash have not confirmed why the woman fell off the motorcycle.
 
On August 1, 2009 at approximately 9:45 a.m. a Harley Davidson motorcycle operated by TERRY MELTON, age 46, from Salem, was eastbound on Highway 22 near milepost 70 with his wife, VIRGINIA MELTON, age 53, as a passenger. Preliminary information indicates the operator noticed his wife slumping behind him and tried to hold on to her to keep her from falling off the motorcycle. Despite his attempt to keep her on, she fell off onto the highway.
After the passenger fell off, the operator lost control and laid the motorcycle on its side and slid an unknown distance on the highway.
 
VIRGINIA MELTON was pronounced deceased at the scene.
 
TERRY MELTON was transported by air ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend with non-life threatening injuries. Hospital staff advised he has been released from the hospital.
Both were wearing protective helmets.
 
OSP troopers from the Salem Area Command office are continuing the investigation with the assistance of officers from Marion County Sheriff's Office and Keizer Police Department.
 
Lyons Fire Department and ODOT assisted at the scene. Traffic was directed through the area until about 3:00 p.m.