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Double Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 97 north of Chiloquin
10/04/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police & Nevada DMV
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The names of the two victims from Reno, Nevada who died Friday afternoon when the motorcycle they were riding on was struck by a sport utility vehicle on Highway 97 north of Chiloquin are being released. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation and are asking for the public's help to locate next of kin for one of the victims, JOHN LYMAN HOWELL, age 65. A photograph of HOWELL is provided with this release to help find next of kin.
 
On October 2, 2009 at approximately 12:45 p.m. a Ford sport utility vehicle driven by GARY COUCH, age 63, from Redmond, was northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 226 when it attempted to pass a commercial truck. As the Ford pulled out to pass it did so in the path of a southbound motorcycle with two male occupants. The Ford crashed into the motorcycle head-on ejecting both motorcycle occupants. After impact, the motorcycle crashed into the front rear axle of a semi-trailer pulled by the commercial truck.
 
HOWELL, who was the motorcycle operator, and passenger JAMES M. SCOTT, age 49, both from Reno, Nevada, were wearing protective helmets. Both were pronounced deceased at the scene.
 
The investigation indicates the two men had left Tulalip, Washington after visiting friends and were returning to Nevada. Anyone with information to help identify and contact HOWELL's next of kin is asked to call Oregon State Police Southern Command Center dispatch at (541) 776-6111. Information should be forwarded to Senior Trooper Joseph Smith at the Gilchrist work site.
 
COUCH was transported by ground ambulance to Sky Lakes Hospital in Klamath Falls with minor injuries. His wife/passenger, SUSAN COUCH, age 68, was transported by air ambulance to Sky Lakes Hospital with serious injuries. Safety restraint use information is pending confirmation.
 
The truck driver, ALAN C. GALLOWAY, age 53, from Priest River, Idaho was not injured.
OSP troopers from the Gilchrist and Klamath Falls offices are conducting the investigation.
Klamath County Sheriff Office, ODOT and Chiloquin Fire Department assisted at the scene. Highway 97 was closed about 3.5 hours.