Driver dead after head-on crash on Hwy 126 west of Eugene

A fatal crash closed Highway 126 about 2 miles west of Beltline on Wednesday afternoon. (OSP)

EUGENE, Ore. - A pickup truck crossed into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into a sedan, killing the driver of the smaller vehicle, Oregon State Police said.

The crash happened at 1:20 p.m. on Highway 126 about 2 miles west of Beltline Highway.

Investigators said Larry Lay, 78, of Elmira was westbound in a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 when the truck crossed into oncoming traffic. Police do not yet know why the truck crossed the center line.

The pickup crashed head-on into an oncoming sedan. The driver of the smaller vehicle died at the scene. The driver's identity has not yet been released pending notification of the victim's family.

Lay was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He is expected to survive his injuries, police said.

A photographer on scene saw a vehicle from the Lane County District Attorney's Office pass through a roadblock a mile from the crash.

State police said troopers were assisted at the scene by Oregon Department of Transportation, Lane Fire Authority, Eugene/Springfield Fire, the Lane County District Attorney and Medical Examiner's offices.

Oregon DOT said to use alternate routes "or expect a long closure."

ODOT detoured traffic onto Ken Neilsen Road to Cantrell Road to Central Road to Highway 126.

Just before 4 p.m., ODOT said one lane of traffic was back open.

All lanes were back open before 5 p.m.

RESOURCES | Real-Time Traffic Map

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