Carisa Cegavske

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September 7, 2012
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Police seek info on Hwy 34 crash that killed Chelsea Duffy of Myrtle Creek

Oregon State Police are seeking witnesses to the vehicle crash that killed a 22-year-old graduate of South Umpqua High School on Wednesday.

Chelsea Denea Duffy of Myrtle Creek was driving her 2004 Pontiac Vibe east on Highway 34 about two miles east of Corvallis at about 2:45 p.m. when the fatal accident occurred.

Police say another eastbound driver changed lanes and clipped Duffy’s car, causing her to veer into an oncoming lane and collide head-on with a westbound vehicle.

OSP spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings said today that although police have a description of the accident, they hope to obtain more information from additional witnesses. He declined to comment on whether criminal charges could be filed in the case.

Duffy was a four-sport athlete and top student at South Umpqua, where she graduated in 2008. She was a pre-medicine student at Oregon State University and the mother of an 18-month-old girl.

Police said a 1995 GMC Suburban driven by Valorie Carrigan, 35, of Blodgett was eastbound in the right lane and attempted to change lanes in front of Duffy’s car. The left rear section of the GMC struck the right front section of Duffy’s Pontiac, causing Duffy to lose control of her vehicle.

Duffy crossed into the westbound left lane and collided head-on with a 2003 Jeep Liberty driven by Larry Dodge, 52, of Shedd. Dodge was taken to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, where he was listed in good condition late Thursday afternoon. Carrigan was not hurt.

Police report that Duffy was not wearing a seat belt and that her car’s airbags deployed.

The crash blocked the westbound lanes of Highway 34 for four hours. Traffic was shuttled through in both directions using the lanes normally reserved for eastbound travel.

• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or

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The News-Review Updated Sep 7, 2012 05:32PM Published Sep 8, 2012 01:04PM Copyright 2012 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.