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Cause of fatal accident remains under investigation

A 33-year-old Salem man died May 25 when his eastbound car crossed the center line on Highway 22 and crashed into another driver.



POLK COUNTY -- A 33-year-old Salem man died May 25 when his eastbound car crossed the center line on Highway 22 and crashed into another driver.

Christopher Payton Criswell was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the other car, Leila Ann Dwyer, 50, of Salem was taken to Salem Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Both were wearing safety belts.

The accident happened around 4:15 p.m. when Criswell was driving his 1980 Mazda two-door east on 22 near Milepost 22. When he drifted into the westbound lane, his car hit Dwyer's 2000 Dodge pickup.

Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police said Dwyer tried to slow down and avoid the Mazda. The pickup struck the left front corner driver's door area within the highway center median area.

Members of the Oregon State Police are wrapping up the investigation. Oregon Department of Transportation personnel assisted with traffic control.

Traffic near the accident slowed to crawl for several hours.

ACCIDENTS

Memorial Day weekend was busy for emergency personnel. Polk County Sheriff's deputies responded to seven other accidents.

None of them were fatal. The accidents included:

Friday, May 25

♦ 12:46 p.m.: Highway 99W near Milepost 61 in Rickreall.

♦ 12:56 p.m.: Wallace Road near Valley Creek Road in West Salem.

♦ 11:41 p.m.: Wallace Road near Zena Road NW in West Salem.

Saturday, May 26

♦ 9:05 a.m.: E. Ellendale Avenue near Bowersville Road in Dallas.

Sunday, May 27

♦ 7:40 p.m.: Highway 18 near Milepost 22 in Willamina.

♦ 3:44 p.m.: Highway 99W near Highway 22W in Rickreall.

Monday, May 28

♦ 3:18 p.m.: 26200 Highway 18 in Grand Ronde.

HOLIDAY WEEKEND CITATIONS

In addition, deputies beefed up patrols during the weekend and gave out:

♦ 29 citations for speeding.

♦ 7 citations for driving with a suspended license

♦ 2 citations for careless driving.

♦ 3 citations for minor in possession of alcohol.

♦ 2 citations for possession of marijuana.

♦ 1 citation for failure to carry a driver's license.

♦ 4 citations for driving while intoxicated.

♦ 1 citation for illegal passing.

♦ 2 citations for operating a motorcycle without a helmet.



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