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Highway 20 crashes this past weekend near Corvallis claimed the lives of two women, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office reported. A multiple-vehicle crash on Saturday near Granger Avenue killed an 87-year-old woman and then on Sunday, a 47-year-old woman died in a crash west of Circle Boulevard.

Thirteen people have been killed on Benton County roads this year, which the sheriff’s office said is more than Benton County has seen in over 20 years. BCSO said distracted driving, impaired driving and an increase in vehicles on the roads are believed to be the main factors for the rise.

The sheriff’s office responded to a report of a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 20 at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 17 in an area near Granger Avenue. According to BCSO, an investigation determined that a Ford Explorer traveling westbound crossed the centerline for unknown reasons and crashed head-on into an eastbound Kenworth semi-truck hauling U.S. mail. The truck then struck a Toyota Highlander that was behind the Ford Explorer.

The 87-year-old Corvallis woman who died was a front-seat passenger in the Ford Explorer. The driver and rear passenger in the vehicle sustained injuries and were taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.

The driver of the semi-truck and occupants of the Toyota Highlander were reportedly uninjured.

BCSO said that the initial investigation did not determine if drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

The mail inside the semi’s trailer was delayed for several hours while the highway was shut down. The mail was later transported to a postal site after coordination with the U.S. Postal inspector’s office. 

The Benton County Crash Team was assisted on scene by the Oregon Department of Transportation, Corvallis Fire Department, Philomath Police Department and the U.S. Postal Service. 

The following afternoon, BCSO responded at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18 to a fatal crash on Highway 20 west of Circle Boulevard.

According to BCSO, a Honda CRV traveling eastbound was hit head-on by a Volkswagen Touareg that left its lane of travel at a curve in the road. The 47-year-old woman who died was driving the Honda.

The driver of the Volkswagen, a 24-year-old man, was transported to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for minor injuries.

Highway 20 was closed for approximately four hours to investigate the crash. BCSO said that the initial investigation did not determine if drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

The Benton County Crash Team was assisted on the scene by ODOT, Corvallis Police Department and Corvallis Fire Department.