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Jan-03-2009 14:32TweetFollow @OregonNews
Three Die in Crash South of Hood RiverSalem-News.com
The only survivor of the car that initially lost control, was a teenager who wasn't wearing her seat belt; the three who died were wearing theirs.
(HOOD RIVER, Ore.) - Oregon State Police troopers are continuing the investigation into Friday night's two-vehicle crash that resulted in the death of three Parkdale-area women.
The collision happened at 8:42 PM on Highway 35 about two miles south of Hood River. Lt. Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police, says this tragic crash is a reminder of the dangers when traveling on icy stretches of highway even if the air temperature is above freezing.
OSP Sergeant Julie Wilcox says a 1997 Geo Metro driven by 24-year old Cheree Cluff of Parkdale, was southbound on an uphill curve when it slid out of control on black ice.
The Geo crossed into the northbound lane and collided with a 2007 Jeep Wrangler driven by 24-year old Vincent Hogan of Tacoma, Washington. Both vehicles came to a stop on the northbound side.
Cheree Cluff and her right front passenger, 16-year old Jan Cluff, were pronounced deceased at the scene.
Two other passengers, 13-year old Clarissa Ortiz of Parkdale, and 13-year old Shannon Cluff, were transported to Providence Hood River Hospital.
Clarissa Ortiz was critically injured and died from those injuries at the hospital.
Shannon Cluff was ejected from the car and received non-life threatening injuries.
The three deceased victims were using safety restraints. Shannon Cluff was not using safety restraints.
Wilcox says the Cluff women are sisters and Clarissa Ortiz is a friend of Shannon Cluff.
None of the four occupants of the Jeep Wrangler were injured. All were using safety restraints. The threea passengers are identified as 22-year old Kerry Cafazzo of Tacoma; 20-year old Jennifer Bravo of Puyallup, Washington; and, 24-year old Dylan Mills of Fort Lewis, Washington.
Sergeant Wilcox noted OSP troopers were already working several other crashes related to black ice conditions on Interstate 84 at the time of this crash.
"Monitor the temperature and remember that ice-related crashes can occur even when the air temperature is well over freezing. Severe black ice conditions were present even with an air temperature of 38 degrees," said Wilcox.
Highway 35 was closed in both directions for three hours.
OSP troopers were assisted by Hood River County Sheriff's Office deputies, Hood River Police Department and ODOT.
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