A Near-Fatal Crossover Crash on 97

Rack up another serious head-on crash for Highway 97 - not a fatal one this time, fortunately, but one that easily could have been.

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Rack up another serious head-on crash for Highway 97 - not a fatal one this time, fortunately, but one that easily could have been.


According to news reports, Alejandro Gonzalez-Diaz, 21, of Bend was driving south on the snow-covered highway early Sunday morning when his car crossed over into the northbound traffic lane and crashed into a car driven by Samuel Carter, 23, of Terrebonne.

This crash - like the ones that killed Shalae Rae Mortenson in early January and Daniel and Madge York in early December - could have been prevented if there had been a Jersey Wall on that stretch of highway.

Police said both drivers were intoxicated. Gonzalez-Diaz was unhurt, and was charged with second-degree assault, DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangering. Carter was admitted to St. Charles Hospital in Redmond with serious injuries and charged with DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangering. A passenger in Carter's vehicle was treated for minor injuries.

Okay, The Eye doesn't have a lot of sympathy for these guys, both of whom apparently were bombed out of their minds and driving too fast on a snowy highway. But what if the oncoming car that Gonzalez-Diaz plowed into had been driven by a sober driver who just couldn't get out of the way in time?

We need a Jersey Wall on 97 to protect the responsible drivers from the irresponsible ones - and from the accidents that happen through nobody's fault.

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