Banks, Crash, Highway 6

Driver involved in fatal crash on Highway 6 arrested on six charges

Photo: OSP

BANKS – The driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash on Wednesday evening west of Banks on Highway 6 has been arrested on six charges stemming from the crash.

Around 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, emergency response agencies and the Oregon State Police responded to a vehicle crash at mile post 48 on Highway 6, roughly one mile west of Banks.

According to the Oregon State Police, an initial investigation showed that a Ford Fiesta operated by Talita Weltzien, 19, of Hillsboro was heading eastbound on the Wilson River Highway when her vehicle slammed into the trailer of a stopped Volvo Commercial Motor Vehicle, operated by Robert Grinstead, 56, of Gresham. The Volvo tractor-trailer vehicle was stopped in an active construction zone at the time.

After the collision, the Fiesta entered the westbound lanes and was struck by a Ford Explorer, operated by Tillamook resident Brian Reynolds, 48.

A passenger inside the vehicle, 19-year-old Elizabeth Shell, a Hillsboro resident, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Weltzien was transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland with minor injuries. After she was discharged from the hospital, she was transported to and lodged in the Washington County Jail on charges of Manslaughter 2, DUII, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Reckless Endangering of a Highway Worker and Criminal Mischief 2.

All others involved in the crash received no or minor injuries.

In addition to Oregon State Police, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Banks Fire District 13, Metro West Ambulance, and the Oregon Department of Transportation responded to the scene.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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