On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at about 1:30pm, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a report of a traffic crash on US Highway 101 near milepost Z46, just south of Wheeler.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a green 2001 Ford Explorer, operated by D. Gordon ROGNLIEN, age 83, of Wheeler, was traveling northbound when the vehicle crossed into the southbound lane of travel for an unknown reason on a sharp curve to the right. The vehicle struck a southbound red 2014 GMC Terrain SUV head on. The GMC Terrain was driven by William BURR, age 85, from Garibaldi, and also occupied by Carolyn COLBERT, age 78, from Rockaway Beach. A tan 2016 Buick Enclave, operated by Michael WILKINS, age 64, and also occupied by Sandra WILKINS, age 64, both from Portland, was southbound behind the red GMC Terrain when it was struck by both of the other vehicles after the initial head on collision.
ROGNLIEN, BURR and COLBERT were all transported by ambulance to Tillamook Regional Medical Center. ROGNLIEN and BURR were later transported by ambulance to OHSU for additional treatment. COLBERT was transported by ambulance to Emanuel Hospital.
On Tuesday, April 3, 2018 BURR died while he was still being treated at OHSU. On Thursday, April 5, 2018 ROGNLIEN also died while still being treated at OHSU.
US Highway 101 was closed for approximately two hours following the crash. OSP was assisted by Nehalem Bay Fire and Rescue, the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office, and Tillamook Regional Medical Center Ambulance.
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