Head-on Crash Kills 2, Injures 3

Date: December 6, 2009
Location: Highway 223 near Dallas, Oregon
Names: Rebecca Dunaway, Daymon Wachtler, Barrett Overhoff, Jennifer Dobbins

A 24-year-old Salem woman and teen were killed and 3 others were seriously injured in a head-on crash December 6, 2009, on Highway 223 near Dallas, Oregon, after a driver crossed the center line for unknown reasons.

Rebecca Dunaway, 24, of Salem, died in the crash, which occurred around 8:35 PM. Daymon Wachtler, 18, of Keizer, was critically injured and later died at the hospital.

According to Salem-News.com, a westbound 2002 Dodge Durango driven by Barrett Overhoff, 27, of Dallas, crossed the solid double center line and entered oncoming traffic, striking Dunaway’s 1994 Hyundai Excel.

Wachtler was flown by REACH Air Medical Services to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.

Overhoff was seriously injured, and was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital. Overhoff’s passengers, Jennifer Dobbins, 33, of Dallas, and a 3-year-old girl, whose name was not released, were also seriously hurt and taken to the same hospital.

Both cars’ occupants were wearing safety restraints, and the 3-year-old was in a child safety seat. The Dodge’s airbags deployed.

The crash is still under investigation as of December 7, but Oregon State Police told Salem-News.com that alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Dallas Fire Department, Southwest Polk County Rural Fire District, and Oregon Department of Transportation assisted at the scene. The crash closed the highway for over three hours.

Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this tragic accident, the victims and their families. We send our condolences to those Dunaway and Wachtler left behind. And we pray that Overhoff, Dobbins, and the young child recover fully from their injuries. We know nothing can truly ease the pain of losing a loved one or change what happened, but please know we are thinking of you.

This crash still leaves many questions. And in the next months, the families will be looking for answers. Why did this happen? What do you do next? How will you pay for the medical bills? These are all questions that will come up, and we want you to know we are here to help. But first, please, to the injured victims: get better; to their families: help them and support them in their recovery. To those who lost their loved ones, please know our thoughts are with you, and we’re praying for you during this hard time.

Shulman DuBois, LLC, is located in Portland, Oregon, and serves clients in all Oregon cities and counties, including: Portland, Beaverton, Multnomah County, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tualatin, Troutdale, Sellwood, Corvallis, Salem, Eugene, and Albany.