Sunday was a deadly day on Central Oregon roads as two separate crashes killed two people.
Three of the four people involved in the two fatal wrecks have been identified, although the identity of a 34-year-old male pedestrian who was struck and killed Sunday evening by a tractor-trailer is being withheld until today at the family’s request, according to news releases from Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings.
At about 9:14 p.m. on Sunday, a Redmond man was walking “toward the highway on the east side” near the intersection of Southeast Veterans Way and U.S. Highway 97 when he reportedly “moved quickly into the southbound lane,” according to the news release.
Jason Johnson, 37, from Moxee, Wash., was driving southbound on Highway 97 when he saw the man move into the path of his semi-truck pulling two trailers. Johnson said he tried to steer out of the way, according to a news release, but the pedestrian was struck by the second trailer and killed.
The highway was closed for several hours while the initial investigation took place.
Earlier in the day, two men were involved in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 20 east of Bend. The men have been identified as Matthew Dreyer, 35, of Star, Idaho, and Christopher Johanson, 36, of Middleton, Idaho, according to a news release from Hastings.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dreyer was driving a pickup westbound on Highway 20 near milepost 31 west of Brothers. When attempting to negotiate a curve, Dreyer went off the west side of the highway and overcorrected, trying to bring the vehicle back on the road, according to the news release. The pickup rolled several times before coming to rest off the south side of the highway.
Dreyer was ejected from the pickup and seriously injured. He was transported by air ambulance to St. Charles Bend, where he is listed in critical condition, according to spokeswoman Kayley Mendenhall.
Johanson was partially ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.
Alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor. It is unknown whether either of the men were wearing seat belts.
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