EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon State Police confirms a second person died following Wednesday’s two vehicle head-on crash on Highway 126W between Veneta and Eugene near milepost 50.
Investigators say a 2008 Toyota Prius driven by Brunhilde Maria Watkins, age 78, from Veneta, was westbound when it crossed the centerline and smashed head-on with a 1986 Toyota 4Runner driven by Kirk Gerard Rinaldi, age 47, from Dorena.
Watkins was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rinaldi was extricated by firefighters and transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center with serious injuries. According to the Lane County Medical Examiner’s Office, Rinaldi died early Thursday morning at the hospital.
Both drivers were believed to be using safety restraints.
The investigation continues.
“There’s going to be a reconstruction on this one, obviously, and so that will take anywhere from several days to maybe a few weeks depending. This one appears to be fairly simple so it may take only a couple weeks depending on how far down the officer is,” Rick Hamilton, Oregon State Police state trooper.