Fatal late-night crash closes Highway 26 west of Banks
Three people are dead following a head-on collision between vehicles on Highway 26, in between the highway's junction with Highway 47 toward Vernonia and the Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel Thursday night, Aug. 23, according to the Oregon State Police.
The fatal crash near milepost 42 forced the closure of Highway 26, the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Banks Fire District said on Twitter. The Oregon State Police said the crash was reported at about 10:10 a.m.
State police said it appears a Kia Cadenza traveling eastbound crossed into oncoming traffic for an unknown reason, colliding head-on with a westbound Lexus HS 250.
The driver of the Kia, 45-year-old Stephanie Breiger of Ocean Park, Wash. — the car's only occupant — was fatally injured in the crash. So were two of the four occupants of the Lexus: the car's driver, 48-year-old Ignacio Torres, and a 16-year-old boy.
The LifeFlight Network was activated to respond to the wreck, according to the Banks Fire District. Two air ambulance helicopters were dispatched, transporting the other two occupants of the Lexus, 45-year-old Stacy Torres and a 12-year-old boy, to a Portland-area hospital for treatment. The Oregon State Police said they were "seriously injured" in the crash.
The Torres family is from Vancouver, Wash.
Speed was a contributing factor to the crash, state police said. The investigation is ongoing.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with the names of crash victims and additional details on the crash and investigation.
By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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