Fatal Two-Vehicle Car Accident on Highway 97

Date: January 2, 2011
Location: Highway 97 near Chemult
Names: Hadley Ann Alger, Collin Runnels, Brittainy Anne Pendleton

According to an Oregon State Police news release, a two-vehicle crash on Highway 97 about six miles south of the Klamath/Deschutes County line has resulted in a fatality.

In a statement by OSP Recruit Trooper Nicholas Hagedorn, on January 2 at about 11:47am Hadley Ann Alger, age 65 of Chico, California, was driving her 2003 Subaru Station Wagon south on Highway 97 near milepost 218 when she lost control, crossed into the oncoming lane and crashed head-on into a 1988 Ford Ranger driven by Collin Runnels, age 24 from Klamath Falls.

Alger, who had been alone in her car and was returning home after visiting a relative in the Bend area, was pronounced dead at the scene. The road conditions at the time were snow and ice.

Runnels and his passenger Brittainy Anne Pendleton, age 24 of Klamath Falls, were transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls. Pendleton suffered serious injuries and was later taken by air ambulance to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland for emergency surgery. Runnels was treated for non life-threatening injuries and released.

Our hearts go out to Ms. Alger’s family and friends, and we hope that Ms. Pendleton will recover from her injuries quickly.

With the return of colder temperatures to the area drivers need to be alert for icy and snowy road conditions. Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Transportation ask everyone to slow down, increase following distances so you can safely stop, stay alert and drive carefully. Potentially dangerous driving conditions are factoring into more traffic crashes and other roadside emergencies.

They are issuing these additional tips:

  • Plan ahead to give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination.
  • Stay informed about weather conditions, potential traffic hazards and highway closures.
  • Check road conditions by visiting www.TripCheck.com or calling 5-1-1.
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving starting with good tires, a good battery, and a full tank of gas.
  • Carry an emergency kit and chains or traction tires, especially if traveling over mountain passes.
  • Drive according to conditions. If it’s wet, icy, snowy or foggy, slow down and increase your following distance behind other vehicles to at least a four-second distance. Keep in mind that conditions may not be safe to drive at the posted speed.
  • Be alert for potential icy conditions during cold weather on bridges, curves and shaded areas.
  • Use headlights even in daylight to help other drivers see you.
  • Don’t use cruise control in wet, icy, snowy or foggy conditions.