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Police ID Victims in Double Fatal Motorcycle CrashSalem-News.com
Investigators are trying to determine the next of kin for the operator of the bike.
(CHILOQUIN, Ore.) - Police have released the names of two people from Reno, Nevada who died Friday afternoon when the motorcycle they were riding was struck by a sport utility vehicle on Highway 97 north of Chiloquin.
Oregon State Police troopers are continuing the investigation and are asking for the public's help to locate next of kin for one of the victims, 65-year old John Lyman Howell, whose photo is shown here.
Investigators say October 2, 2009 at approximately 12:45 p.m. a Ford sport utility vehicle driven by 63-year old Gary Couch of Redmond, was northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 226 when it attempted to pass a commercial truck.
As the Ford pulled out to pass it did so in the path of a southbound motorcycle with two male occupants. The Ford crashed into the motorcycle head-on ejecting both motorcycle occupants. After impact, the motorcycle crashed into the front rear axle of a semi-trailer pulled by the commercial truck.
Mr. Howell, the motorcycle's operator, and a passenger, 49-year old James M. Scott, both from Reno, Nevada, were wearing protective helmets. Both were pronounced deceased at the scene.
The investigation indicates the two men had left Tulalip, Washington after visiting friends and were returning to Nevada. Anyone with information to help identify and contact Mr. Howell's next of kin is asked to call Oregon State Police Southern Command Center dispatch at (541) 776-611. Information should be forwarded to Senior Trooper Joseph Smith at the Gilchrist work site.
Couch was transported by ground ambulance to Sky Lakes Hospital in Klamath Falls with minor injuries. His wife/passenger, 68-year old Susan Couch, was transported by air ambulance to Sky Lakes Hospital with serious injuries. Safety restraint use information is pending confirmation.
The truck driver, 53-year old Alan C. Galloway of Priest River, Idaho was not injured.
OSP troopers from the Gilchrist and Klamath Falls offices are conducting the investigation. Klamath County Sheriff Office, ODOT and Chiloquin Fire Department assisted at the scene. Highway 97 was closed about 3.5 hours.
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