By News-Register staff • 

Highway 18 crash injures Sheridan family members

Oregon State Police photos##Three members of a Sheridan family were injured Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle crash east of Sheridan on Highway 18.
Oregon State Police photos##Three members of a Sheridan family were injured Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle crash east of Sheridan on Highway 18.

SHERIDAN - Three members of a Sheridan family were injured Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle crash east of Sheridan on Highway 18 in front of the Dairy Queen.

Oregon State Police Lt. Fred Testa identified them as Julian Santos Sr., 56; his wife, Gloria Enedina Santos-Morales, 52, and their 16-year-old son, Julian Jr.

The parents were both transported by Life Flight helicopter to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and reported in critical condition Thursday morning, according to Testa.

Their son was transported by ground ambulance to the Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Senior Trooper Bridget Kiger, a crash reconstructionist, gave this account of the crash:

About 7 a.m., the Santos family was eastbound on the highway in a 1992 Honda Civic. The father was driving.

Loren Hutnick, 50, of Eagle Creek (Clackamas County), was operating a 2002 Kenworth tractor-trailer rig and traveling westbound. He works for  H&H Heavy Haul  Inc. of Eagle Creek, and his trailer was loaded with logs.They had to be off-loaded.

"Hutnick passed Gopher Valley Road, which is the road he was intending to turn onto, but had just passed," Kiger wrote in her report. "He turned left into a driveway, but was unable to completely enter the driveway area due to the length of his vehicle. He was attempting to adjust to complete the turn when he backed out onto Highway 18."

Santos did not see the tractor-trailer rig, which was across the eastbound lane. "The car went under the trailer and sheared off the top," Testa said.

The Santos vehicle continued eastbound on the highway and went off the eastbound lane and into the ditch, coming to rest in a grassy area adjacent to the Dairy Queen.

"It's a miracle they (Santos family members) are alive," Testa said.

Hutnick was not injured.

No citations have been issued and the crash remains under investigation. The highway was reduced to one lane of travel for about five hours.

 

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