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Update #2: Second Person Dies Following Fatal Traffic Crash - Interstate 84 west of Baker City
11/12/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Pager: (503) 323-3195

 Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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(Baker City, Oregon) - Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers, with the assistance of local police and emergency responders, are continuing the investigation into Thursday morning's single vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 84 about five miles west of Baker City. A second passenger has been confirmed to have died and thirteen others were injured, many of which have reportedly been treated and released from a hospital.
 
This updated news release will provide known information regarding the van's occupants. Please note that some of the vehicle occupant's information is not complete for this release. Next of kin notifications have been completed. No additional details are being released tonight because it is ongoing investigation.
 
On November 12, 2009 at approximately 5:20 a.m. a 2002 Ford van driven by NICOLE ELAINE BYRD, age 25 (residence information unavailable), was westbound with fifteen (15) passengers on Interstate 84 near milepost 302 after making a brief stop in Baker City. As the van was westbound on icy highway conditions, it drove off the roadway and rolled multiple times coming to rest on its top near a frontage road bordering the westbound lanes.
 
Thirteen of the sixteen are believed to have been ejected from the van. All occupants were transported to hospitals in La Grande, Baker City and Boise, Idaho.
 
BYRD was using safety restraints. She was transported to St. Elizabeth Health Services hospital in Baker City with non-life threatening injuries.
 
Passenger JOSHUA JOHN PISCHURA, age 20, from Geneva, Ohio was transported to St. Elizabeth Health Services hospital and died after arrival.
 
Six passengers are now confirmed as being flown by air ambulance to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho with serious injuries. One of those passengers identified as TAUNE NICOLE WINTER PEPPER, age 23, from Deer Trail, Colorado died Thursday afternoon.
 
The following five passengers are reported to be in serious or critical condition at Saint Alphonsus:
 
* AARON STEARLING WERNTZ, age 19, from Freeport, Illinois
* CHRISTINE SANDRA AKI, age 18, from Golden, Colorado
* PHILLIP JOEL HARRIS, age 24, from Attalla, Alabama
* KATHERINE ELIZABETH DARLENE PISCHURA, age 18, from Geneva, Ohio
* WILLIAM CHRIS RODGERS, age 22, from Lakewood, Colorado
 
The following two passengers were transported to Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande with non-life threatening injuries:
 
* LAVAN AHMAD SAYED, age 24, from Louisville, Colorado
* ASHLEY WENK, age 18 (residence information not available)
 
The following remaining passengers were transported to St. Elizabeth Health Services hospital in Baker City, where most were treated and released for non-life threatening injuries:
 
* SARAH BETH DEVIRES, age 18, from Golden, Colorado
* MARKETA LARIE SMITH, age 26 (residence information not available)
* BRETT JAMES ISERMAN, age 20, from Dakota, Illinois
* KATHERINE ELIZABETH COPPOCK, age 19, from Cave Creek, Arizona
* CHRISTIAN WENCE, age 19, from Ault, Colorado
* JAVAAR ZAKORI HOWARD, age 18, from Denver, Colorado
 
OSP troopers from the Baker City office are continuing the investigation with the assistance of OSP collision reconstructionists. Safety restraint use information is pending confirmation by investigating troopers.
 
Emergency responders from Baker City, La Grande, Baker Rural, and Keating responded to help along with people who stopped to assist.
 
Lieutenant MacManiman and OSP thanks all local responders, hospital staffs, Federal Heights Police Department, Boise Police Department, Baker City residents and others for their help today.
 
Questions for New Life Worship Center can be directed to (303) 428-9535. The van is reportedly registered to New Life Worship Center in Federal Heights, Colorado and is affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Masters Commission. The group was reported to be enroute to Portland, Oregon.
 
No more information will be released tonight.