Names in Fatal Crash Released; Pertussis Outbreak; Rhododendron Realignment; Rhododenron Festival

Names in Fatal Crash Released

Oregon State Police have released the name of the individual that died as a result of a head on collision on Tuesday on Highway 126 at milepost 1.6.  OSP says a Toyota Rav 4 heading westbound crossed the center line for unknown reasons and struck a Chevrolet Equinox head on.  A passenger in the Toyota, Reania Danialle Horath, 30 of Myrtle Creek was declared deceased at the scene.  The driver of the Toyota, Katherine Lee Horath, 46 of Myrtle Creek and Timothy Richard Worrell, 34 of Myrtle Creek and a female juvenile were all transported to Peace Harbor Medical center.  The operator of the Equinox, 52 year old Rainbow Adah Tornel and Siage Jaqueline Donaldson, 25 both of Eugene were also transported to Peace Harbor.  OSP is still investigating the crash. 126 was closed for approximately 4 hours.

Pertussis Outbreak

Lane County Public Health has declared a community wide Pertussis Outbreak.  Pertussis, or whooping Cough is a highly infectious, dangerous, and communicable respiratory tract infection that is especially dangerous for babies.  Lane County has reported 40 new cases in the last 7 days and statewide there are over 120 cases as compared to 17 this time last year.  Pertussis is spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes.  LCPH suggest that pregnant women should receive the Tdap vaccine. Other adults should also consider the vaccine which is recommended once every ten years.

Rhododendron Realignment

A safety reminder about the Rhododendron Drive realignment project along the Siuslaw River was issued this week.  Assistant City Manager Megan Messmer has it:

“It is an active construction zone, please avoid the area, whatever mode of transportation you’re taking.”

No matter what mode, she says.

“Our construction crew has noticed an increase in bicyclists and pedestrians over the last few weeks coming through the corridor.  It could be visitors who are using scenic bike route and may not know we’re under construction.”

Or, she admitted, it could be local residents.  Messmer said additional signage is being added to deter bicycles and walkers.  Access to the Lane County Transfer Site and the Humane Society are allowed from the south end of the project.  The few homes on the river on the northern end can be accessed from 35th Street.  The entire project is slated to be done at the end of 2025.

 Rhododenron Festival

The 117th Rhododendron Festival Officially gets underway today with the opening of the Davis Shows Northwest.  The Carnival, located in the Port Parking Lot in Old Town is a highlight of the festival for young and old alike, but it is only a small part of the total festival.  The Florence Events Center will host the Rhododendron society Rhododendron Flower show and the FRAA Rhody Days Art Festival this weekend.  The Rhody Run, 5K run will be on Saturday morning and will not have a 10k run due to the rhododendron realignment project.  The Lions Club of Florence will put on the Show and Shine car show at the Siuslaw Middle School on Saturday.  The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has fliers that outline all of the activities.  Saturday evening beginning at 5:30 Coast Radio will hold their annual Classic Car Cruise and a live broadcast and on Sunday beginning at noon Coast Radio will broadcast the Grand Floral Parade.