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Mar-23-2010 23:22printcomments

Driver Arrested Following Fatal Traffic Crash North of Salem

One driver, 58-year old Alan J. Olson of Salem, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

49-year old David Don Pallett of Amity
49-year old David Don Pallett of Amity
Photograph Source: Polk County Sheriff's Office

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregon State Police troopers are continuing the investigation into Monday evening's three vehicle fatal traffic crash on Highway 221, two miles north of Salem near milepost 17 in Polk County.

One person died, four others were injured, and one driver was arrested on multiple charges. Names and other information are being released in this update.

According to OSP Sergeant Bob Charpentier, on March 22, 2010 at approximately 7:30 p.m. a 2008 Ford pickup driven by 49-year old David Don Pallett of Amity, was northbound on Highway 221 at milepost 17 when it crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into a southbound 1994 Toyota Corolla four-door driven by 20-year old Carleen Chenowith of McMinnville.

The pickup then veered into the passenger side of a southbound 2003 Chevrolet Malibu whose driver was attempting to avoid the collision. The pickup pushed the Chevrolet into the ditch and came to a stop on top of it.

The Chevrolet's driver, 58-year old Alan J. Olson of Salem, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Pallett was not injured. OSP troopers arrested and lodged him at the Polk County Jail for 2nd-degree Manslaughter, DUII, Reckless Driving, 2nd-degree Assault, three counts of 4th-degree Assault and five counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person.

Carleen Chenowith and her three passengers were transported by ambulance to Salem Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The passengers are identified as 33-year old Kamie Chenowith, 4-year old Andrea Chenowith and 5-year old Hannah Chenowith, all from McMinnville.

Safety restraint use information is not available at this time.

OSP troopers from the Salem Area Command office are continuing the investigation with the assistance of the Polk County District Attorney's Office.

Polk County Sheriff's Office, Salem Fire Department, Spring Valley Fire Department, and ODOT assisted at the scene. Highway 221 was closed about six hours.

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JAN June 18, 2010 3:26 pm (Pacific time)

We are not talking about a "nice" man. We are talking about a DRUNK who made a career of driving while impaired. This time, the "nice Mr. Pallett" killed my friend and hurt 3 more innocent people. Lori, you need to re-assess your judgement standards for friends, etc.!

Lori March 24, 2010 8:41 am (Pacific time)

I personally know Mr. Pallett and you could not meet a nicer man. I am so sorry that Mr. Olson died. What a horrible tragedy.

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