By News-Register staff • 

Newberg man killed in Highway 18 crash

DAYTON - A Newberg man was killed shortly after noon Friday in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 18 just west of the Dayton interchange. The Oregon State Police identified the victim as John Gordon Batchler, 77.

Trooper Dan Davis gave this account:

Batchler, driving a Chevrolet El Camino, was westbound when the left rear tire separated from the vehicle. He lost control, crossed the centerline and crashed almost head-on into a Jeep Wrangler driven by Luke Aaron Jaeger, 35, of Sarasota, Florida.

The El Camino spun around and came to rest in the middle of the highway. Batchler was pronounced dead at the scene. The impact forced the Jeep off the eastbound shoulder and into the ditch.

Jaeger and three passengers were transported to Salem Hospital for treatment of moderate injuries.

Seat belts were worn by occupants of both vehicles. There was airbag deployment in the Jeep. The highway was closed for about 2 1/2 hours while the crash was investigated and the scene cleared.

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