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Dec-29-2009 20:28printcomments

Oregon Coast Man Dies in Crash on Highway 138W

The lone occupant was found deceased with safety restraints in use.

Fatal crash 12-27-09 near Sutherlin, Oregon
Photo of fatal crash near Sutherlin: Oregon State Police

(SUTHERLIN, Ore.) - Police say a 66-year old Reedsport-area man died late Monday night when his car drove off the side of Highway 138W near the Tyee curves northwest of Sutherlin. Oregon State Police say they are continuing the investigation which may have been caused by a medical problem suffered by the driver prior to the crash. According to OSP Sergeant Lynn Withers, on December 28, 2009 at approximately 11:20 p.m. a passing motorist spotted a car on its side in a ditch along the westbound shoulder of Highway 138W near milepost 14.

OSP, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Douglas County Fire/EMS, Kellogg Fire Department and ODOT responded to the scene.

The lone occupant was found deceased with safety restraints in use.

A preliminary investigation indicates the vehicle driven by 66-year old Laurence Neal Burke of Reedsport, was westbound in a 1991 Mazda Miata when it traveled into the ditch along the westbound shoulder for about 100 feet before striking a dirt embankment and rocks.

The car flipped and landed on its driver side facing eastbound. There were no braking or evasive tire marks on the roadway prior to the crash scene. OSP and the responding Douglas County medical examiner are investigating the possibility that Mr. Burke suffered some type of medical problem just prior to the crash.

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