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Hit-and-run crash closes Hwy 212 near Damascus, police seek driver

Highway 212 crash 3.jpg
Police are investigating a two-vehicle, head-on collision that closed Highway 212 on Oct. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy Oregon State Police{ }

DAMASCUS, Ore. – A driver took off running after a head-on crash along Highway 212 early Wednesday morning, Oregon State Police said.

Troopers and emergency personnel were called out about 5:30 a.m. on reports of a crash west of Damascus near Southeast Wyeast Avenue.

Investigators say a driver in a 1999 Ford Explorer was traveling eastbound when they crossed the center line and collided head-on with a 2000 Toyota Camry.

The driver of the Camry, identified as 20-year-old Ana Wakefield, was critically injured and taken to OHSU, police said.

The women's basketball coach at Multnomah University, Tim Bieri, confirmed Wakefield is a guard on the team.

Police are still searching for the driver of the Explorer, who fled the scene.

A witness said he's a white man in his 20s with a slim build and dark hair.

A Washington County Sheriff's Office K-9 helped in the search, but could not locate the man.

A neighbor who heard the crash says there are lots of fields and backroads in the area; he could've gone anywhere. She adds, neighbors know the area to be dangerous because of drivers speeding.

"There's constantly wrecks on this road. People are going too fast and they run in the back of you and they end up in the ditch across the street several times," said Deeanna Graham.

Emergency crews closed down the highway for several hours to investigate the crash. Detours were in place for other drivers.

Investigators are still working to identify who owns the Explorer.

They believe he swapped license plates and got his car off a used car lot recently. Anyone familiar with this dealer sticker is asked to call police: