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Woman Dead, Oakridge Police Officer Critically Injured in Traffic Crash - Highway 58 in Oakridge
10/12/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
 
Chief Louis Gomez
Oakridge Police Department
(541) 782-4232

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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A 91-year old Oakridge woman died and an Oakridge police officer is in critical condition following a traffic crash Monday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 58 and Crestview Street in Oakridge. Oregon State Police, with the assistance of Oakridge Police Department, is continuing the investigation.
 
Preliminary information indicates on October 12, 2009 at approximately 3:48 p.m. a marked Oakridge Police Department patrol car driven by Officer DANIEL MILLER, age 27, was westbound on Highway 58 near milepost 35 with emergency lights and siren activated attempting to overtake a speed violator. As Officer MILLER approached the intersection with Crestview Street in the left westbound lane, an eastbound 1965 Ford Thunderbird driven by VIRGINIA SPALINGER, age 91, moved into the left turn lane and attempted to turn left onto Crestview Street directly into the path of the patrol car. The Ford collided head-on with the left front of the patrol car in the middle of the intersection.
 
Officer MILLER was transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend and is reported in critical condition.
 
SPALINGER was transported by ambulance to the same hospital were she was pronounced deceased after arrival. Next of kin were notified by hospital staff.
 
Both drivers were reported to be using safety restraints.
 
Oregon State Police troopers from the Oakridge and Springfield offices are continuing the investigation with the assistance of Oakridge Police Department. No other information will be released pending the ongoing investigation.
 
Anyone witnesses who have not been interviewed by OSP investigators is asked to contact OSP Senior Trooper Dusty Sprague at (541) 782-4374.
 
Oakridge Fire Department and ODOT assisted at the scene. The highway was closed about 4 1/2 hours during the on-scene investigation.
 
Questions for Oakridge Police Department should be directed to Chief Louis Gomez at (541) 782-4232.