Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Tualatin man killed in car crash near Sisters


A crash near Sisters claimed two lives, including that of a Tualatin man, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office reported Saturday.

Driver Austin Jacob McNelis, 23, of Tualatin and Kayla Marie Basham, 18, were traveling eastbound on Highway 20 on Oct. 12 shortly before 11:50 a.m.

McNelis reportedly lost control of his 1984 Toyota Celica sedan when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer that had stepped onto the road. The sedan was sent careening into an oncoming lane, and into the path of a 2012 Dodge pickup truck. The truck struck McNelis’ sedan on the driver’s side.

The truck’s driver, Andrew Smolich, 30, and passenger Brittany Smolich, 28, were traveling with three unnamed juvenile passengers. Two of the truck’s occupants were transported to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The sheriff’s office reports McNelis and Basham were killed on impact. Both were deceased when deputies arrived on the scene.