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Hwy. 22 accident claims life

POLK COUNTY -- Oregon State Police (OSP) investigators are seeking information from witnesses to Friday's three-vehicle accident that claimed the life of Dallas resident Emily Campbell.

A three-vehicle crash Friday morning on Highway 22 just west of the intersection with Highway 51 took the life a Dallas woman and seriously injured two men.

Photo by Pete Strong

A three-vehicle crash Friday morning on Highway 22 just west of the intersection with Highway 51 took the life a Dallas woman and seriously injured two men.

March 27, 2013

POLK COUNTY -- Oregon State Police (OSP) investigators are seeking information from witnesses to Friday's three-vehicle accident that claimed the life of Dallas resident Emily Campbell.

Investigators would like to speak with any witnesses to the crash on Highway 22, including those who may have driven by any involved vehicles prior to the crash Friday.

Campbell, 32, an English teacher at North Salem High School, was recently married and expecting her first child at the time of the accident. Two others were seriously injured in the crash, which occurred just west of the Highway 22-51 intersection near Independence.

According to Oregon State Police, at about 7:12 a.m. a Chevrolet pickup was westbound on the highway when it crossed the center line into oncoming traffic, striking Campbell's Honda Accord and a Toyota 4Runner.

Campbell and the 4Runner's driver, Mark D. Barnhart Jr., 35 of Falls City, tried to swerve right to avoid the collision, but were unable to escape the crash. The impact pushed all three vehicles to the shoulder of the eastbound lanes.

The driver of the Chevrolet, Agapito Escutia-Chacon, 60, of Gervais, and Barnhart were taken to Salem Hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, police said.

A Salem Hospital spokesman said Monday afternoon that Barnhart had been released and Escutia-Chacon remained at the hospital in fair condition.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call Senior Trooper Bridget Taylor at 503-472-0294, ext. 255.

Polk County District Attorney's Office, Polk County Sheriff's Office and Oregon Department of Transportation responded to the scene to assist.

The eastbound lanes were closed for more than four hours Friday following the accident.

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