Collisions on Highway 97 claim two lives

OROVILLE – As road conditions become more treacherous, two recent incidents on Highway 97 led to fatalities last week, according to the Washington State Patrol.

On Thursday, Dec. 16, Andrew W. Cline, 39, Omak, died when the 1984 Dodge Pickup he was driving southbound near Omak crossed into the northbound lane and was struck broadside by a 2008 Ford Pickup driven by Jason B. Bauer, 39, Okanogan, according to Sgt. Saunders of the WSP. Cline was deceased at the scene and Bauer was transported to Mid-Valley Hospital in Omak for chest pains. Both vehicles were totaled, according to the Trooper’s report.

Sgt. Saunders listed the cause of the crash as “speed too fast” by Cline.

The next day, Friday, Dec. 17, Michelle L. Mason, 53, Chelan, died when her southbound 2004 Ford Escape crossed the centerline and was struck by a northbound Kenworth semi-tractor and trailer around 6:10 p.m., ten miles south of Okanogan. Mason, whose vehicle came to rest in the southbound ditch, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Trooper N. Hagg of the State Patrol. The driver of the northbound vehicle, Angel S. Alvizo, 47, Sunnyside, was transported by ambulance to Mid-Valley Hospital with a sore neck and back.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation, according to Trooper Hagg. The Ford Escape was totaled and the semi suffered an estimated $15,000 in damages.

Icy road conditions and “speed to fast” were listed as the causes of another accident on Thursday, Dec. 16, that sent an Oroville woman to the hospital.

Selena K. Fellows, 47, Oroville was southbound on Highway 97 about one mile south of Pateros when her 1997 Dodge Ram Pickup lost control on the icy roadway and struck a bridge and guardrail, according to Trooper Lindquist. Fellows was transported to Brewster Hospital by ambulance for treatment of neck and back injuries, according to the Trooper.

Fellows, who was wearing her seatbelt, was cited with “speed too fast for conditions.” Her vehicle received an estimated $1000 in damages.

On Monday, Dec. 20, a one-vehicle accident 1.5 miles north of Pateros was also caused by excessive speed for the conditions, according Trooper Hagg. Abraham Drabkin, 39, Corvallis, Ore., was driving a 1991 Volkswagon Vanagan northbound on SR153 when he lost control leaving the roadway to the left. The vehicle rolled and came to a rest on its top in the southbound ditch, according to the WSP report.

The driver and two other passengers, ages 13- and four-years-old, were not injured. A third passenger, Amy E. Luhn, 44, Corvallis, was transported by ambulance to Brewster Hospital for treatment of bumps and bruises, according to Hagg. The estimated damages to the van are $1500.

Drabkin was cited with “speed too fast for conditions.”