On Monday, February 4, 2019 at 3:31 P.M. Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to a three vehicle collision on Hwy 42 milepost 76 near Winston, OR.
Preliminary investigation shows that a 2001 Dodge Ram PU, operated by William Dewar (85) of Roseburg, was eastbound when it struck the back of a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado PU, operated by Patricia Unruh (66) of Winston, that was stopped waiting for traffic to clear. The impact pushed the Chevrolet Silverado into the back of a 1997 Dodge Dakota PU, operated by Allen Shoemaker (38) of Winston.
Dewar was transported to Mercy Medical Center and later to RiverBend Hospital in Springfield with serious injuries. A passenger, Virginia Dewar (79) of Roseburg was transported to Mercy Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased from her injuries. Neither Dewar was wearing a seatbelt.
Unruh sustained minor injuries.
Shoemaker and his passenger Ruby Shoemaker (38) of Winston sustained minor injuries along with two juveniles in the vehicle.
OSP was assisted by the Winston Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Fire Department, and ODOT.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those involved in this accident. This was a terrible accident, and we hope everyone involved in the crash knows that there are thinking of their families and the life lost.
One of the most difficult parts of an accident like this is the fact that there will be immediate bills that will need to be taken care of in a timely manner. The period after an accident like this can be a very confusing and challenging time especially when friends and family may be involved. We feel fortunate to be able to provide victims of these types of accidents with resources that help navigate these challenging and trying times. We hope these resources help answer some of the difficult questions you have after an accident and how mounting medical bills or a wrongful death can be addressed.
This is a sensitive time for all those involved but it is important to remember that the lives of those left behind must be protected to the fullest extent of the law.
Oregon wrongful death claims are allowed under ORS 30.020, but the law is much more complicated than a normal accident case. First of all, the statute of limitations (SOL)(time limit on filing a claim) is different. For most car accidents, the SOL is two years, but for wrongful death, the SOL is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .”
Additionally, there are limits on who can bring a wrongful death claim. The most common claimants are:
- Children (including stepchildren)
- Parents (including stepparents)
Less common claimants include:
In a wrongful death case, you can ask for compensation for several types of damages such as:
- Charges for medical services;
- Charges for burial and memorial services;
- Compensation that the decedent would have been entitled to for disability, pain and suffering, and loss of income during the period between injury and death;
- Compensation for “pecuniary loss” to the decedent’s estate;
- Compensation for the loss of the decedent’s “society, companionship and services” to the decedent’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents, and parents;
Punitive damages are allowed as well, but are rare in Oregon since the State takes 70% of punitive damages awarded. If you have lost a loved one, call a Portland wrongful death attorney for help in securing the compensation you deserve.