Two killed in highway head-on crash near Jordan Valley

JORDAN VALLEY – Two people died and three others were injured in a head-on crash on U.S. Highway 95 just north of the Oregon-Nevada border, Sunday, May 21, according to the Oregon State Police.

Ryan Michael Mercer 38 of Springfield, Missouri, died when the 2017 Ford Explorer he was driving collided with a 2022 Ford Edge operated by Joseph J. Luia, 37, of Sparks, Nevada near milepost 25 at about 11:14 a.m.

Luia and a rear seat passenger in the Ford Edge, Alexandria E. Murrillo, 33, of Reno, Nevada, suffered serious injuries and were transported by Life Flight to an area hospital. Another rear seat passenger, Lisa K. Johnson, 58, of Sparks Nevada, died at the scene. A front-seat passenger in the Ford Edge, Felissia A. Luia, 37, of Sparks Nevada, suffered minor injuries.

According to police, the crash occurred when Mercer was driving north in the southbound lane in a no-passing zone. At the same time Walter Robert Gilmore, 73, of Star, Idaho, was driving his 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the southbound lane followed by Luia.

Gilmore swerved to the edge of the southbound lane to avoid hitting Mercer’s vehicle, struck a fog marker and came to a stop.

Seconds later Mercer and Luia’s vehicles collided.

Gilmore and a passenger, Diana Lynn Bonsey-Gilmore, 72, of Star, Idaho, were not injured.

The crash closed the highway for two hours after the crash.

CORRECTION: One of the passengers injured in the crash was Alexandria E. Murrillo. An early press release from Oregon State Police listed the incorrect first name.

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