Two adults and a 1-year-old infant girl were killed in an early morning crash on Howell Prairie Road NE east of Salem Monday.
The crash involved two vehicles, a 1992 Honda Accord and a 2016 Ram 4500 work truck, which collided head-on. The Honda had three people inside: 41-year-old Joseph Dominick, 33-year-old Kelly Byrd and Byrd’s 1-year-old daughter.
Dominick and Byrd were pronounced dead at the scene. The baby was transported by medic, but also died as a result of unspecified injuries.
The driver of the work truck, Mark Kuenzi, 43, sustained only minor injuries during the crash. He had no passengers.
When emergency crews arrived at the scene, the Honda was on fire. Firefighters from Marion County Fire District No. 1 were able to extinguish the vehicle fire.
According to the preliminary investigation, Byrd was driving the Honda southbound on Howell Prairie Road when she crossed into the oncoming, crashing head-on into the 2016 Ram.
Deputies have not determined why the Honda went into the oncoming lane, but they say driver impairment has not been ruled out as being a contributing factor to the crash.
Howell Prairie Road was closed to traffic for several hours during the investigation, but was reopened to traffic at approximately 3:30 pm.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Marion County Fire, Keizer Police Department, Marion County Public Works, Marion County District Attorney’s Office and Marion County Medical Examiner’s Office during this incident.
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