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Update: Driver Arrested - Fatal Traffic Crash on Highway 101 north of Port Orford
08/26/2011
Sergeant Scott Punch
Oregon State Police - Gold  Beach
(541) 247-6641 ext. 222

A Portland-area woman died Tuesday morning when the pickup she was riding in crashed off Highway 101 about one mile north of Port Orford on the southern Oregon coast. The 57-year old driver was arrested for Manslaughter in the Second Degree Thursday by Oregon State Police (OSP) in relation to the ongoing investigation.
 
On August 23, 2011 at approximately 11:40 a.m. a 2006 Ford F150 pickup driven by LOREN M. LEACH, age 57, from Kona, Hawaii was southbound on Highway 101 near milepost 299 when it glanced off a guardrail, passed another vehicle using the southbound shoulder and lost control. The pickup continued across the northbound lane and off the highway approximately 235 feet through trees before colliding with a large tree and stopping.
 
LEACH received minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to Southern Coos Hospital in Bandon. Following treatment he was taken into custody by OSP and lodged in the Curry County Jail for Manslaughter in the Second Degree. No photograph of LEACH is available for this release.
 
Passenger KARLAN MARIE PATTERSON, age 66, from Portland, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
 
OSP troopers from the Gold Beach work site are continuing the investigation. Speed is believed to be a contributing factor.
 
OSP was assisted at the scene by ODOT and local emergency responders.