WASCO COUNTY, OR (February 22, 2023) - The Oregon State Police is reporting that on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at approximately 9:38 A.M., OSP responded to a two vehicle crash on Highway 97, at the intersection with Highway 197, in Wasco County.
The preliminary investigation indicated a Lincoln MKZ passenger car, operated by Richard Evar Fridell 75 of Shaniko, was traveling southbound on Highway 97 when a northbound GMC Savana box truck, operated by Vitaliy Solomko 49 of Federal Way, WA attempted to make a left turn in front of the southbound Lincoln. Both vehicle operators attempted to avoid a collision, however the vehicles collided nearly head-on.
A passenger in the Lincoln, Mary Jane Wright 76 of Shaniko, was declared deceased at the scene. The vehicle operators suffered minor injuries, which resulted in neither being transported by ambulance for treatment.
The highway was closed for approximately a half an hour while the on-scene investigation was conducted.
OSP was assisted by Jefferson County Fire and ODOT.