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Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 20 east of Eddyville
08/12/2009
Sergeant Justin McGladrey
Oregon State Police - Newport
(541) 265-5354 ext. 226

Photograph link valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-08/1002/081209.fatal.hwy20mp26.1.JPG
 
An Albany-area man died and two others were seriously injured Wednesday morning in a two vehicle head-on crash on Highway 20 about two miles east of Eddyville. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation.
 
On August 12, 2009 at approximately 8:10 a.m. a 2006 Saab sedan driven by EDWARD RANDOLPH JOHNSTON, age 62, from Salem, was eastbound on Highway 20 near milepost 26 when it attempted to pass another vehicle using the westbound lane. A westbound red 2008 Honda Civic driven by JOSEPH OLIVER ERNST, age 26, from Albany, first reportedly moved toward the eastbound lane to avoid the oncoming Saab and then steered back into the westbound lane where the vehicles collided head-on. After impact, the Honda came partially to rest on top of a concrete side barrier on a bridge over a creek.
 
ERNST was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was using safety restraints and the car's airbags deployed.
 
The Honda's passenger, GREGORY JAY HIGGINS, age 17, from Crabtree, Oregon was seriously injured and transported by Pac West ambulance to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Corvallis. HIGGINS, who was the victim's stepbrother, was using safety restraints.
 
JOHNSTON was seriously injured and transported by air ambulance to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Corvallis. He was using safety restraints and his car's airbags deployed.
 
OSP troopers from the Newport Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Lincoln County District Attorney's Office, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and members of the Lincoln Multi-Agency Traffic Crash Team are assisting. Local fire personnel and ODOT were on scene and a detour was set up around the area until the highway was re-opened about noon.