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Teen killed in utility vehicle crash at Oregon filbert orchard

Kate.jpg
A high school junior died Sunday in a utility vehicle crash at a filbert orchard outside Salem, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said. The victim has been identified as 16-year-old Kate Christofferson, a student at Salem Academy. (Photo via Marion County Sheriff's Office)

SALEM, Ore. - A high school junior died Sunday in a utility vehicle crash at a filbert orchard outside Salem, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

The victim has been identified as 16-year-old Kate Christofferson, a student at Salem Academy.

Christofferson was riding in a Yamaha Rhino UTV driven by a teenage boy, deputies said.

The driver lost control and slammed on the brakes, causing the vehicle to overturn, according to the sheriff's office.

The crash killed Christofferson instantly, the sheriff's office said.

The driver was treated and released at Salem Hospital.

"At the time of the crash neither teen was wearing their safety belts or helmets," the sheriff's office said. The Sheriff's Office does not intend on taking any action against the driver of the UTV and are treating this incident as a tragic accident."

The sheriff's office asked people who drive off-road vehicles to review state rules governing their use.

The crash happened in an orchard in the 7000 block of 54th Avenue NE northeast of Salem.