Salem man killed in crash Sunday in east Santiam Canyon, police say

A Salem man was killed in a collision Sunday afternoon involving three vehicles on state Highway 22 in the east Santiam Canyon, the Oregon State Police announced Tuesday in a news release.

Police responded to the crash around 3:51 p.m. on the highway near milepost 60, about 5 miles east of Idanha.

Investigators determined that Alberto Avila-Perez, 41 of Salem, was driving a blue Honda Civic when he lost control. The car left the roadway and hit a boulder.

The crash caused the Honda to overturn and cross the centerline into oncoming traffic, police said in the news release. There, it clipped a cargo trailer being towed by a red Hyundai, driven by Randall Pefferle, 70 of Bend.

The Honda then crashed head-on into a black Subaru Forester, driven by 70-year-old Amella Hennig of Salem. 

Avila-Perez, the driver of the Honda, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger of the Honda, 42-year-old Jorge Alejandro Avila-Perez of Salem, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was injured in the crash.

The road was impacted for around four hours during the collision investigation. “Speed is suspected as a contributor to the crash,” according to the police statement.

The Idanha Fire Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon Department of Transportation assisted state police with the investigation.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.