Betsy Swanback

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December 10, 2012
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Car accident claims life of Roseburg High graduate

A recent Roseburg High School graduate known for her smile and a sarcastic sense of humor died in a car accident late Saturday night.

Eighteen-year-old Kaylyn Dawn Oelrich of Roseburg died in a rollover accident around 11:20 p.m. Saturday in the 4700 block of Happy Valley Road in Green, according to a press release from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Three passengers were also injured in the crash.

Oelrich, a member of RHS’ 2012 graduating class, worked as a convenience clerk at Sherm’s Thunderbird. Her stepfather, Sam Hollenbeck, wrote in an email this morning that she was considering a culinary track in college.

Throughout high school she exhibited her love of animals by volunteering at Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center. Hollenbeck, who wrote on behalf of Oelrich’s mother, said Oelrich loved family, friends, her music and life in general. He wrote she will be remembered for a smile that scrunched up her whole face and lit up a room.

Oelrich was driving a Kia SUV when the car left and re-entered Happy Valley Road as she tried to regain control, police said. She was ejected from the car and died at the scene.

Three passengers, all Roseburg residents, were taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center. Jose Alberto Garcia, 18, and 14-year-old Nathaniel Mandera were both treated and released.

Hector Mandera, 18, was transported from Mercy to Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield, where he remained in serious condition, according to a hospital website.

A sheriff’s office news release stated the cause of the accident is under investigation, but that initial findings showed speed did not appear to be a factor.

Oelrich is survived by her father, Bryan Oelrich, her mother, Dawna Hollenbeck, stepfather Sam Hollenbeck, sisters Karissa and Bryanna Oelrich and Cari Hollenbeck and brother Kevin Hollenbeck.

Sam Hollenbeck wrote that Kaylyn Oelrich would want people to focus their energy on others injured in the accident.

• You can reach reporter Betsy Swanback at 541-957-4208 or email at

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The News-Review Updated Dec 12, 2012 08:19AM Published Dec 11, 2012 10:36AM Copyright 2012 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.