1 Killed in a Car Accident in Malheur County, OR
May 23, 2023

Malheur County, Oregon (OR) – On May 21, 2023, a multi-vehicle crash occurred on Highway 95 near milepost 25 in Malheur County, OR.

At around 11:14 in the morning, the Oregon State Police responded to the crash and conducted a preliminary investigation. 38-year-old Ryan Michael Mercer of Springfield, MO, was driving a 2017 Ford Explorer and was traveling northbound in the southbound lane. He was on US-95 in a no-passing zone. 73-year-old Walter Robert Gilmore of Star, Idaho, was driving his 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee southbound, and was followed by 37-year-old Joseph J Luia of Sparks, Nevada, who was in his 2022 Ford Edge. Gilmore swerved to the southbound shoulder to avoid a collision with the Explorer, and he struck a fog marker before stopping.

The Explorer and the Edge collided head-on, and the latter came to an uncontrolled rest by the shoulder in an upright position. The Explorer, however, continued northbound, rolled over, then stopped along the southbound shoulder on the driver’s side. Mercer, the driver of the Explorer, was pronounced dead at the scene. Gilmore and his passenger, 72-year-old Diana Lynn Bonsey-Gilmore, were uninjured. Luia, the driver of the Edge, and his passenger, 33-year-old Alexander E Murillo of Reno, Nevada, sustained serious injuries. Meanwhile, his front passenger, 37-year-old Felissia A. Luia of Sparks Nevada, was also injured but was not transported. The other rear passenger, 58-year-old Lisa K. Johnson from Sparks, Nevada, died at the scene.

An investigation was conducted and the highway was closed for about two hours. The Oregon State Police was assisted by ODOT, Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, and Jordan Valley Ambulance.

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