EDDYVILLE — Authorities said today a 21-year-old Roseburg woman died Sunday after the car she was driving went off the road and became submerged upside down in the Yaquina River.
Abigail Patricia Emerson, a 2011 graduate of Roseburg High School and a junior at Oregon State University, was driving east along Highway 20 near Eddyville at about 11:13 a.m. when she lost control of her car on a sharp curve. According to Oregon State Police, the 2000 Chevrolet Impala nearly hit another vehicle, fishtailed and went off the eastbound shoulder of the highway. It went 40 feet down an embankment before it came to rest on its top and submerged in the river.
Passenger and OSU student Christopher J. Kazanski, 24, from Madison, Wisconsin, was also killed.
Witnesses were unable to get to the car’s occupants. Emergency responders went into the water and got inside the overturned vehicle. They found Emerson and Kazanski both unconscious. Both students were transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis and were pronounced dead on arrival.
State troopers from the Newport Area Command office are investigating, along with the Lincoln County-area interagency crash team. Emergency responders from the state police and from Toledo Fire Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon Department of Transportation went to the scene.
The highway was briefly closed and then opened to one lane of travel until an investigator cleared the area.