Driver has 'medical incident', rear-ends car on Hwy 20

Driver has 'medical incident', rear-ends car on Hwy 20

NEWPORT, Ore. -- Two people were taken to the hospital late Tuesday morning after a three-car crash on Highway 20 in Newport, police officials said. 

Both were taken to Samaritan Pacific Community Hospital, however a 71-year-old man involved in the crash was eventually transferred to another hospital.

The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 20 (E Olive St.) and SE Moore Dr. at around11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Responding officers said that Larry Merrell, 71, of Newport, was driving west on Olive St. when a medical problem made him lose control of his pickup. His pickup truck rear-ended Waldport-resident Misty Vanderburgh, who was stopped at the intersection in her Kia passenger car.

Crash investigators said the impact pushed Vanderburgh's car through the intersection, off a guard rail and across two lanes of traffic before it clipped the rear corner of a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by James Hodge of Otter Rock.

Vanderburgh's Kia then plunged into a ravine where it came to a stop against a tree, Newport Police Officials said.

Merrell was taken to the hospital and stabilized before being transported to a second hospital for treatment.

VanderBurgh was treated for minor injuries at the hospital and released. Hodge was unhurt by the crash.