A La Pine couple suffered serious injuries Tuesday morning when their pickup truck slid off slick and snowy Highway 97 north of La Pine, struck an oncoming car, flipped onto its side and crashed into a tree, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.
Deputies and La Pine Rural Fire District crews responded to the crash, which occurred around 8:35 a.m. on the highway near milepost 160 and La Pine State Rec Road, north of La Pine, said sheriff’s Sgt. Deke DeMars.
Fire crews used tools to cut the crushed roof of the 2002 black Toyota Tundra and free driver Stanley Stolp, 68, and his wife, Linda, 65.
Within a half-hour of crews arrival, the pair were taken by La Pine and Sunriver ambulances to St. Charles-Bend, where a nursing supervisor said Stanley Stolp was in critical condition Tuesday afternoon and his wife was in serious condition.
DeMars said the couple was heading north toward Bend when Stanley Stolp lost control of the pickup due to snowy conditions and crossed into the oncoming lane, striking a 1977 white Chevy Nova driven by Laura Moulden, 32, of Redmond. Her car also went off the road, but she was unhurt, the sergeant said.
Highway 97 was shut for about 45 minutes while the couple was freed from the wreckage and the pickup was removed from the scene, DeMars said. ODOT assisted with traffic control and northbound traffic was diverted to State Rec Road, he said, adding that Oregon State Police also assisted at the scene.
It was one of a few crashes reported around the region Tuesday amid slick road conditions after snowfall and a night of sub-freezing temperatures.
DeMars reminded drivers that weather and road conditions can change unexpectedly, and when they worsen, motorists need to slow down and drive appropriately for the conditions.