Oregon State Police officials have identified two Oregon State University students as the victims of a fatal single-vehicle crash Sunday morning on Highway 20 near Eddyville.
The driver, Abigail Patricia Emerson, 21, from Roseburg, and passenger Christopher J. Kazanski, 24, from Madison, Wisconsin, were killed after their Chevrolet Impala flipped over and landed upside down in the Yaquina River.
Emergency personnel pulled Emerson and Kazanski from the water, and they were transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, but they were pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
According to the OSU’s student directory, Emerson was an anthropology student, and Kazanski was studying English.
The state police says the crash occurred after 11 a.m. Sunday, near milepost 17 on Highway 20.
According to OSP’s initial investigation, Emerson’s Impala was headed east and negotiating a sharp right curve when it began to fishtail and go out of control, nearly hitting another vehicle. The Impala then went off the east shoulder of the highway, about 40 feet down an embankment, into the Yaquina River, where it came to rest underwater, on its top.
Lt. Gregg Hastings, an OSP spokesman, said Monday afternoon that investigators have not yet officially determined what caused the crash. He said the results of toxicology and other postmortem tests — a routine part of fatal crash investigations — could take several weeks. He added that there was nothing to indicate that drugs or alcohol were a factor.
State police troopers from the Newport Area Command office, with the assistance of an OSP collision reconstructionist and the Lincoln County-area interagency crash team, are continuing the investigation. Crash investigation team members from OSP, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Newport Police Department, the Lincoln City Police Department, and the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office also responded to the scene.