Head-on crash in Marion County kills infant, 2 adults


Road closures have since been lifted

Crash scene on Howell Prairie Road NE. June 1, 2020 (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Three people, including one infant, died in a head-on crash in Marion County Monday morning, the sheriff’s office reported.

The crash was reported to 911 around 7:40 a.m. Authorities said the drivers of a Honda Accord and a Ram work truck collided on Howell Prairie Road NE, north of State Street. The driver of the truck was the sole occupant, and there were two adults and an infant boy in the sedan.

When emergency crews arrived on the scene, the sheriff’s office said that the Honda was on fire. Firefighters extinguished the flames, but found that the two adults, identified as 33-year-old Kelly Byrd and 41-year-old Joseph Dominick, had died. Medics pulled the one-year-old boy from the car and rushed him to the hospital. However, authorities reported that he later died from his injuries.

The sheriff’s office said the driver of the Ram truck, identified as 43-year-old Mark Kuenzi, was left with minor injuries from the crash.

Crash investigators found that, for an unknown reason, Byrd crossed into oncoming traffic when driving on Howell Prairie Road and hit the Ram truck. Authorities said, “driver impairment has not been ruled out as being a contributing factor to the crash.”

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