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John Gordon Batchler loses his life after a nearly head-on collision Friday on Highway 18 near Dayton

A Newberg man perished July 19 in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 18 near Dayton.

John Gordon Batchler, 77, was pronounced dead on the scene by Oregon State Police troopers after his vehicle struck a SUV driven by a Florida man.

According to OSP reports, Batchler was driving his Chevrolet El Camino westbound on Highway 18 when the left rear wheel fell off the vehicle, sending him out of control. He crossed the centerline, the OSP report said, and crashed nearly head-on with a Jeep

Wrangler piloted by Luke Aaron Jaeger, 35, of Sarasota, Fla.

The El Camino spun and came to rest in the middle of the highway, while the Jeep was forced off the road into a ditch.

Jaeger and three of his passengers were transported to Salem Hospital with unknown injuries. There were no other injuries in the crash, which reportedly closed the highway for nearly three hours.

OSP troopers investigating the crash determined that the occupants of both vehicles were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. In addition, the Jeep's airbag deployed.


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