UPDATE: Five others, including two children, were hospitalized. The highway has re-opened to traffic.

COURTESY PHOTO: BANKS FIRE DISTRICT - First responders attend to the scene of a crash Friday on Highway 26 that reportedly involved four vehicles, left two dead and injured five more.Two people are dead and five more were hospitalized Friday evening, March 16, following a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 26 west of Timber.

Multiple agencies responded to the crash scene at milepost 32, close to a scenic viewpoint in Tillamook County, at 4:41 p.m., according to the Banks Fire District.

Lt. Cari Boyd, a spokeswoman for the Oregon State Police, and Washington County Sheriff's Detective Mark Povolny both confirmed to the News-Times at about 5:30 p.m. the crash was a double fatality.

Five others were injured and transported to the hospital in serious condition, according to a statement released by the Banks Fire District at 8 p.m.

Boyd said the crash appears to have been a head-on collision between two vehicles. A crash reconstruction team is en route, she added.

Two SUVs were heavily damaged in the crash.

News-Times media affiliate KOIN 6 News first reported that four vehicles in total were involved.

"We had two vehicles were able to drive away from the scene and two vehicles that were not," Adams confirmed at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

The highway was closed in both directions at the scene for more than three hours following the crash. Adams told the News-Times it re-opened just before 8 p.m.

The Banks Fire District advised that traffic would be impacted at the Highway 26 junction with Timber Road as helicopters used it as a staging area for medical evacuations.

Two of the injured people were taken to the hospital by air ambulance, while three more were transported by ground ambulance, according to the Banks Fire District.

Boyd, the Oregon State Police spokeswoman, told the News-Times just after 9 p.m. that "there were two children who were transported with minor injuries" from the scene. KOIN 6 News reported both are girls.

The Banks Fire District initially stated that the five injured were all adults. It corrected the statement just after 8:30 p.m.

Both of the deceased victims were adults, Boyd said.

As of Friday evening, the Oregon State Police had not released the names of any of the victims.

The crash reportedly occurred in a no-passing zone, KOIN 6 News reported.

"With increased weekend traffic and weather warming this time of year, the highways are more crowded and we caution drivers to slow down and drive safe," the Banks Fire District advised in its official statement on the crash.

The Oregon Department of Transportation, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, and the Tillamook County medical examiner also responded to the scene.

Editor's note: KOIN 6 News contributed to this report. This is a developing story. It has been updated with more information, including quotes from spokespeople for the Banks Fire District and Oregon State Police, as of 9:10 p.m. Friday.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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