In the community

Police investigating deadly crash west of Vale


VALE – A California woman died in a two-vehicle head-on crash just after noon Wednesday, Aug. 23, about nine miles west of Vale.

According to the Oregon State Police, the crash involved a 2005 SUV Mercedes and a 2013 Peterbilt semi-truck.

Police said the 2005 Mercedes SUV, driven by Christina Cheryl Shane-Contarino, 75, Yreka, California, was westbound on U.S. Highway 20 when for unknown reasons it drifted into the eastbound lane as it entered the corner near Grove School Lane.

The 2013 Peterbilt truck, operated by Hijinio A Hernandez, 34, Ontario, was traveling east through the corner when the two vehicles collided. The collision hurled the Peterbilt into a nearby cornfield. The Mercedes was propelled onto the shoulder of the highway. Shane-Contarino died at the scene.

Hernandez was not injured.

State police are investigating the crash. The highway was closed about 3 hours because of the crash. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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