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Veneta man killed in head-on crash after sun blinds driver of oncoming truck, police say

Oregon State Police photo

SCOTTSBURG, Ore. - A Veneta man died after a driver blinded by the sun crashed his pickup into an oncoming vehicle Sunday afternoon on Highway 38 east of Scottsburg, Oregon State Police said.

Jerry L. Palmer, 29, of Veneta died from his injuries, police said.

Palmer was a passenger in an eastbound 1997 Toyota Tacoma driven by Jerry D. Palmer, 70, of Junction City, police said.

Palmer tried to avoid an oncoming 2012 GMC Canyon that crossed into oncoming traffic around 4:23 p.m., police said.

The two trucks collided nearly head-on, and a third pickup also struck the Toyota after the initial collision, police said.

The crash happened near milepost 21.

Medics freed the Palmers from the wreckage of their truck. The elder Palmer is expected to survive his injuries, police said.

The driver of the oncoming GMC pickup - 83-year-old Norman Fraser of Coos Bay - was blinded by the sun and swerved into oncoming traffic, police said. He was taken to the hospital.

The driver of the third pickup - identified as Samuel Austin, 77, of Cottage Grove - was not injured, police said. His 2001 Dodge 2500 hit the Toyota after the initial crash.

The investigation and emergency response closed the highway for about 90 minutes.

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