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Police: Veneta woman killed, 4 others injured in Hwy 126 crash between Eugene and Veneta

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A Veneta woman died and 4 people were injured when a Springfield man's pickup rear-ended a car as traffic slowed on Highway 126 west of Eugene, sending the pickup into oncoming traffic where it hit a minivan nearly head-on, Oregon State Police said. (OSP)

VENETA, Ore. - A Veneta woman died and 4 people were injured when a Springfield man's pickup rear-ended a car as traffic slowed on Highway 126 west of Eugene, sending the pickup into oncoming traffic where it hit a minivan nearly head-on, Oregon State Police said.

The driver of the minivan - Jeannie Saeburn, 51, of Veneta - suffered fatal injuries in the crash, police said.

Medics took Saeburn's passenger - identified by police as a "male juvenile" - to the hospital with minor injuries, one of four people injured in the crash.

The crash happened just after 9 a.m., about 2 miles west of Beltline Road.

Police said their preliminary investigation shows that Christopher Sheridan, 32, of Springfield was westbound in a 2001 Dodge pickup "when for unknown reasons failed to react to slowing traffic and struck the back of a 2006 Pontiac Vibe, forcing the white Dodge Pickup into the eastbound travel lane where it struck an eastbound 2006 Chrysler minivan nearly head-on."

Sheridan was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, police said.

The two people in the Pontiac Vibe - driver Kenneth Shemel, 25, and passenger Rachel Shemel, 26, of Eugene - were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, police said.

The crash investigation closed the highway for 3 hours, diverting traffic onto local farm roads.

State police said the investigation is ongoing.