Fatal Car Accident on HWY 97 in Wasco County, OR
February 23, 2023

Wasco County, Oregon (OR) – On February 21, 2023, at about 9:38 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a two-vehicle collision on Highway 97 in Wasco County, OR.

The initial inquiry stated that a Lincoln MKZ (passenger vehicle), driven by Richard Evar Fridell, 75-year-old of Shaniko, was heading southbound on HWY 97 when a northbound GMC Savana (box truck), driven by Vitaliy Solomko, 49-year-old of Federal Way (WA), tried to make a left turn in front of the southbound Lincoln.

Despite the drivers’ best efforts to prevent an incident, the two automobiles came together almost head-on. Mary Jane Wright, 76-year-old, of Shaniko, was a traveler in Lincoln, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Both drivers of the vehicle had minor wounds, but neither had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The on-site examination took place over a period when the freeway was blocked for around 30 minutes.

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