Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers investigating a July 19, 2013, double fatal traffic crash that occurred along Highway 97 about seven miles north of Madras are seeking additional witnesses who may have left the scene bef ore troopers could identify and interview them. Any witnesses not contacted and interviewed are asked to contact OSP.
To date, OSP troopers identified and interviewed only one witness who remained at the scene and they believe there were others. To help generate contact from other witnesses, OSP is releasing two photographs obtained from arriving troopers' in-car video systems. The two photographs show a white commercial truck stopped on the southbound shoulder just south of the crash scene that left before troopers could confirm if its driver was a witness. Troopers weren't able to clearly identify the company name, and the vehicle license plate, possibly white in color, appears to be non-Oregon issued.
On July 19, 2013 at approximately 5:30 p.m., a commercial truck was traveling southbound along Highway 97 near milepost 89 when a group of traffic began passing. One of the passing vehicles, a rented 2013 Subaru Legacy four-door driven by WARREN CHESTER WARD, age 91, from Chula Vista, California, had insufficient clearance to complete the pass and collided head-on with a 1991 Ford Explorer with two occupants. Both vehicles came to rest along the side of the highway where a small fire started in the front section of the Subaru. The fire was extinguished by firefighters before it spread into the car's interior.
The crash resulted in the death WARD and other Ford's driver, HAROLD M. CURTIS, age 71, from Antelope, Oregon. A 68-year old female passenger in the Ford received non-life threatening injuries.
Any witnesses not previously contacted and interviewed about this fatal traffic crash investigation are urged to call Trooper Justin Lane at (541) 388-6213 ext. 5128.