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Man dead, four in hospital after Sunday HWY 101 crashes

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Crashes Highway 101
Two red cars crashed in Newport Sunday (Photos by Justin Werner)

A pair of crashes Sunday in Gleneden Beach and Newport were responsible for a death and sending four to hospitals.

Oregon State Troopers were called to Gleneden Beach shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday for a two car collision that led to the arrest of one of the drivers for DUII and the death of a passenger.

According to investigators, Johnny Lee Widerman, 33, of Newport, was traveling southbound in a Chevy pickup on Highway 101 when he crossed into the northbound lane and struck a Chrysler Pacifica van, killing one of its passengers, Ruben Estaban Vasquez, 20, of Woodburn. The driver of the van and two other passengers were taken to hospitals for injuries, one via Life Flight to Portland.

Law enforcement took Widerman into custody for DUII, manslaughter, assault, reckless driving and criminal mischief. He was booked at the Lincoln County Jail with a bail of $400,000.

Oregon State Police was assisted by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln County Major Crash Team, Newport Police, North Lincoln Fire and Rescue and ODOT.

Newport was the scene of a two-vehicle head-on crash at NW 25th Street & Highway 101 Sunday afternoon, sending one passenger to the hospital.

Newport Crash

Eyewitness reports said a red Toyota was headed southbound through the intersection of NW 25th Street when a red Ford sedan turned left from the north.

Three younger females were in the red Toyota and none suffered major injuries. One of the girls said it was her birthday and she wasn’t expecting anything like this to happen.

Walmart crash Newport The driver of the Ford sedan was an older man with a passenger who was being treated to by first responders inside the vehicle. The passenger sustained injuries and was taken by ambulance to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital.

Newport Fire Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Pacific West Ambulance, Oregon State Police and Newport Police responded to the crash.

Justin Werner
I'm publisher of Lincoln City Homepage. Also the web guy, photographer, cameraman, video editor, sportswriter, tech support, beat reporter, cat trainer and e-bike enthusiast. I have a passion for telling people's stories and keeping my fellow citizens informed.

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  1. I came across the accident right after it happened way before emergency services got there and somebody was trying to do CPR on the man that died and the truck was facing south in the northbound lane and the van was sideways in the southbound lane and there was debris everywhere and the van was leaking gas and could have easily exploded. It was all so sad… It must have happened so fast because the next day there wasn’t a single skid mark on the road. I just hope the 12yr old makes it and pray for the family!

  2. Too bad they could not keep Johnny locked up when he was caught with meth last year. The guy he killed would still be here. It would be nice if Measure 110 at least had a provision to take their drivers licenses away.
    Widerman, Johnny Lee
    Description Statute Level Date
    1 Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine 475.894(2)(a) Misdemeanor Class A 07/28/2020


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Two vehicle, double fatality crash on Highway 101

Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to a fatal two vehicle crash on Highway 101 near milepost 121 at 8:51 a.m. Friday, Aug. 13.


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