One driver killed in crash on Highway 18 west of Grand Ronde
GRAND RONDE — One driver was killed Monday night in a crash on Highway 18 about three miles west of Grand Ronde, according to the Oregon State Police. The crash ignited a brush fire.
The driver of a 1997 Ford Escort died at the scene. Troopers said the Escort was eastbound when it crossed the center line and collided with a westbound Mercedes sport utility vehicle.
The impact caused the Escort to split in two. Both vehicles caught fire and flames spread to nearby brush, said Lt. Justin McGladrey of the state police's Newport office.
Following the 11:16 p.m. crash, the Mercedes' two occupants were taken to Salem Hospital. Driver Amnata Ratsasack, 52, and his passenger, Nelavanh Bounketh, 48, both of Happy Valley, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The Escort driver's name has not yet been released, pending notifications.
In addition to OSP, West Valley Fire District personnel and an Oregon Department of Transportation crew responded to the scene.
The highway was closed during the investigation, then opened to one lane of traffic. It fully reopened abut 4 a.m.