HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) – Two people who had just gotten engaged died when their car reportedly ran a stop sign and was t-boned on a highway south of Hillsboro Sunday afternoon.
The couple was identified as Tasha Marie Ann Smith of Portland and Robby Lee Welch of Beaverton.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office reports that just before 3:30 p.m., Smith was driving a 1997 two-door Saturn east on Southwest Simpson Road when she ran a stop sign and crossed into the intersection of Southwest Hillsboro Highway. A 1989 Dodge Dakota pickup truck going north on the highway collided into the passenger side of the Saturn.
"What we think happened," said Sgt. Dave Thompson, "is she didn't see the stop sign, didn't slow down and went right through it."
Welch, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith was transported to a nearby trauma center, where she died from her injuries.She was 24.
The driver of the Dakota, 62-year-old Jerry Lee Hinds of Hillsboro, was taken to Tuality Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the sheriff's office confirmed. Hinds was not expected to face any charges or citations.
The pair was returning from a day of fishing.
Smith's father, sister and stepmother went to the scene of the accident on Monday. They said she and Welch just caught a tagged fish and were excited to see if it was valuable.
"It was their million dollar fish, they figured, and they were in a hurry to get from there to their house to register this fish to see if they could leave the state, go to Alaska and start their life over again," said her father, Ron Smith.
His daughter and Welch had just gotten engaged.
"I had just found out," he said. "Actually, I was the lucky one to find that out. He asked me if he could marry her, and this tragic thing came out."
There was no indication that alcohol was a factor in the crash, the sheriff's office said.
Though some events, like the Christmas boats on the Willamette River, were canceled because of the cold, many people took advantage of other outdoor activities in the metro area on Friday night.
Friday brought a blast of snow and frigid air across Oregon.This is how it played out throughout the day.
All over Salem and parts of Marion County, road conditions were still hazardous Friday night with even the main roads coated with a layer of ice and snow.
A Marion County deputy and the man he was chasing were both wounded by gunfire in a Christmas tree field in Silverton Friday afternoon.