On Dec. 30, at approximately 9:10 a.m. (MT), Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers responded to a double fatal motor vehicle crash on U.S. 20 at milepost 216 west of Harper, which is in Malheur County.
Preliminary investigation revealed a white 2016 Kenworth commercial truck and semitrailer operated by Brian Brunscher, 37, of Springfield, was traveling eastbound on U.S. 20 near milepost 216, when for an unknown reason the vehicle entered the westbound lane of travel and into the path of an orange 2015 Freightliner commercial truck and trailer operated by James Shorten, 55, of Portland, that was traveling westbound. The two commercial vehicles collided head on and burst into flames. The westbound commercial vehicle was followed by a green Jeep Wrangler operated by Leonard Herr, 60, of Middleton, Idaho, and a white Kia Spectra operated by Albert Nasby, 52, of Fruitland, Idaho. The Jeep collided into the rear trailer of the westbound commercial vehicle and the Kia struck the rear of the Jeep. Airbags deployed on both passenger vehicles. No injuries were reported by Herr or Nasby. Brunscher and Shorten were confirmed deceased at the scene.
U.S. 20 remained closed for more than 12 hours while crews worked to extinguish the fire, investigate the scene, and remove the vehicles from the roadway. Approximately, 400 gallons of diesel spilled onto the roadway.
Next of kin notifications have been made for both deceased drivers.
This continues to be an ongoing investigation. Speed and weather conditions are believed to be contributing factors in the crash.
OSP were assisted by the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Department of Transportation, Ontario Fire and Rescue, Ontario Haz-Mat, Vale Fire and Rescue, Steve Rich Environmental Services and Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel.