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Highway 126 reopens after fatal crash in Walterville

The road is closed at milepost 13 and is expected to be closed for several hours as officials investigate.

Posted: Feb 27, 2020 4:43 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 6:07 PM

WALTERVILLE, Ore. -- A serious crash closed Highway 126 at the canal bridge in Walterville Thursday afternoon.

Oregon State Police said motorcyclist Kurt Rauch, 65, of Springfield died in the crash. They said he was eastbound on the highway when he lost control of his motorcycle while attempting to stop for traffic in front of him. Rauch then left his lane of travel, crossed into the westbound lane and collided with an oncoming truck driven by David Doerr, 50, of Bend. Doerr was not injured in the crash.

Alan Kephart lives next to the Walterville Canal Bridge and said crashes happen on the bridge frequently. He said about a year and a half ago, a woman was killed after crashing and rolling her car on the bridge. 

"Whatever this is attributed to, it just seems like the bridge is a contributing factor in so many accidents here," Kephart said. "ODOT is aware of it because we have emailed them."

Highway 126 reopened at 7 p.m. in both directions, nearly four hours after the crash.

Oregon State Police was assisted by ODOT, McKenzie Fire and Rescue and Northwest Hazmat.

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