Three Killed During Morning Crash East of Salem

News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff’s Office
Posted on FlashAlert: June 1st, 2020 7:26 PM

Correction 6/1/2020 5:40 pm:  The original release identified the infant victim’s gender as female, the child is actually male.

****************************************************************************

On June 1st, 2020, at about 7:40 am, a 911 call was received reporting a serious motor vehicle crash on Howell Prairie Road NE, just north of State Street.  The crash involved two vehicles, a 1992 Honda Accord and a 2016 Ram 4500 work truck, which collided head on.  At the time of the crash, the Honda had three people inside, two adults and one infant.  The 2016 Ram was only occupied by the driver.

When emergency crews arrived at the scene the Honda was on fire.  Firefighters from Marion County Fire District # 1 were able to extinguish the vehicle fire.  The two adults in the Honda, Kelly Byrd, 33, and Joseph Dominick, 41, died at the scene of the crash.  Byrd’s one year-old daughter was transported from the scene by medics, but later died as a result of her injuries as well.  The driver of the 2016 Ram, Mark Kuenzi, 43, sustained only minor injuries during the crash.

The Marion County multi-agency Crash Team was called to the scene to investigate the crash.  Investigators determined Byrd had been driving the Honda southbound on Howell Prairie Road when she crossed into the oncoming lane of travel, striking the 2016 Ram.  Deputies have not determined why the Honda went into the oncoming lane; driver impairment has not been rule out as being a contributing factor to the crash. 

Howell Prairie Road was closed to traffic for several hours during the investigation, the roadway reopened to traffic at approximately 3:30 pm.  The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Marion County Fire District #1, Keizer Police Department, Marion County Public Works, Marion County District Attorney’s Office, and Marion County Medical Examiner’s Office during this incident.