ELKTON — A 26-year-old Independence man died when the car in which he was riding went down an embankment Wednesday afternoon and collided head-on with a tree five miles west of Elkton, Oregon State Police said.
Jorge Armando Torres Torres was a passenger in a 1997 Ford Ranger pickup driven east by Jose Rafael Hernandez-Diaz, 28, also of Independence. The pickup left the shoulder around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on Highway 38 near Milepost 30, troopers said.
A Douglas County sheriff’s deputy witnessed the crash and called OSP, officials said.
Hernandez-Diaz was wearing a seat belt. He was transported by air ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, where he was in fair condition today, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Torres was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt, troopers said. Airbags deployed in the accident.
OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings said it is unclear what the two men were doing in the Elkton area.
OSP was assisted by the sheriff’s office, North Douglas County Fire & EMS, the Elkton Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Troopers from the Coos Bay area command office are investigating the cause of the crash.
The original story from Wed., Sept 18 appears below:
Oregon State Police are reporting there was a fatal crash on Highway 38 at Milepost 30 six miles west of Elkton this afternoon.
The crash involved one vehicle and was partially blocking the highway. No more details were immediately available.
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