Fatal Crash at intersection of Hwy 97 & Hwy 197

On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at approximately 9:38 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a two vehicle crash on Hwy 97, at the intersection with Hwy 197, in Wasco County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a Lincoln MKZ (passenger car), operated by Richard Evar Fridell (75) of Shaniko, was traveling southbound on Hwy 97 when a northbound GMC Savana (box truck), operated by Vitaliy Solomko (49) of Federal Way (WA), attempted to make a left turn in front of the southbound Lincoln.  Both vehicle operators attempted to avoid a collision, however the vehicles collided nearly head-on.

A passenger in the Lincoln, Mary Jane Wright (76) of Shaniko, was declared deceased at the scene.  The vehicle operators suffered minor injuries, which resulted in neither being transported by ambulance for treatment.

The highway was closed for approximately a half an hour while the on-scene investigation was conducted.  

OSP was assisted by Jefferson County Fire and ODOT.