Four killed in fiery crash: "It was horrific."

Police say the crash was caused by a wrong-way driver hitting an SUV nearly head-on at more than 60 miles an hour.

Posted: May 20, 2018 6:50 PM
Updated: May 20, 2018 7:25 PM

NEAR RICE HILL, Ore. -- Three of the victims from Saturday night's fiery crash are students from Eagle Point High School.

Oregon State Police said the crash was caused by a wrong-way driver hitting an SUV nearly head-on at more than 60 miles an hour.

Here's a statement from Eagle Point High's Facebook page: "It is with sadness that we inform you that last night three Eagle Point High School students died in a car accident. We have information through the families of Luciana Tellez, Giselle (Jennifer) Montano and Esmeralda Nava."

KEZI spoke to a local man who came up to the crash minutes after it happened: "It was horrific...it was very sad," said Bill Romo. 

Romo and his husband were on their way home from Eugene shortly after 9:30 p.m. when they saw the crash, just north of Rice Hill.

Police said a car was going southbound on I5 when (for unknown reasons) the driver turned around and started driving north. They said the driver then collided nearly head-on with an SUV.

"The posted speed limit in that area is 65 miles an hour, so if both cars were traveling at 65 miles an hour and hit head on, that's 130 mile an hour crash," said Cpt. Tim Fox, with OSP.


Romo said they got out of their car and ran over to help. He said two passengers had already been pulled from the SUV by other people who also stopped.

That's when he said the fire grew bigger and he heard loud pop noises: "A little while into it, apparently is was the tires popping from the heat or one of the pops was a gas tank, because you could see the flames spreading across the second lane."

Police said the three women in the SUV and the driver of the car died from their injuries.

"The families of the victims are in our thoughts and prayers," said Romo. 

Police are looking for any witnesses who saw the wrong-way driver on I5 southbound prior to the crash. They said it was a red Acura Integra. They're asking those witnesses to call them at (541) 440-3333 and reference case number SP18-181178.

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