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Double Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 97 near Chiloquin
11/05/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph link valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Two people from the Klamath Falls area died Tuesday afternoon when their sport utility vehicle crashed head-on with a commercial truck that veered into their lane on Highway 97 about 43 miles north of Klamath Falls.
 
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant Robert Fenner, on November 4, 2008 at approximately 5:45 p.m. a northbound 2003 Kenworth truck driven by AJMER SINGH, age 25, from Yuba City, California, sideswiped a southbound Dodge pickup pulling an occupied horse trailer as they passed in opposite directions.
 
After sideswiping, the Dodge pickup and horse trailer was able to come to a stop on the southbound shoulder. The commercial truck veered into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a southbound 1992 Jeep Wrangler with two occupants, both of whom were pronounced deceased at the scene.
 
The victims are identified as driver CLAY J. NEWCOMER, age 23, and passenger DOTSIE J. IRION, age 21, both from Klamath Falls. The couple resided together and was returning home following a visit in the Vancouver, Washington area. They were using safety restraints.
 
SINGH was using safety restraints and received minor injuries not requiring medical treatment.
 
The driver of the Dodge pickup, SAMANTHA GALLAGHER, age 31, from Merrill, was not injured. The horses in the trailer were not hurt.
 
OSP troopers from the Klamath Falls Area Command and Gilchrist offices are continuing the investigation that will include determining point of initial impact involving the sideswiping vehicles. The highway was icy and snow-covered.
 
Highway 97 was closed about 90 minutes before one lane was opened until the highway was completely re-opened about 11:30 p.m. ODOT and Chiloquin Fire Department assisted at the scene.