Driver strikes pedestrian, commits suicide

A Sweet Home man committed suicide after striking and critically injuring a Sweet Home woman with his vehicle Friday evening.

Police and medics found 77-year-old Lon Salladay dead at the scene. Medics transported 45-year-old Katrina Hadland to Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital, where she was transferred to Oregon Health Sciences University by air ambulance.

Police responded to a report of the crash on the north side of the intersection of 22nd and Main streets at 7:49 p.m., said Police Chief Jeff Lynn. Medics, including one who was off duty, also responded and rendered aid to Hadland, who had been struck by the westbound vehicle.

“Officers located a male who had suffered an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” Lynn said. According to witness reports, Salladay was the driver of the vehicle that struck Hadland. He was the sole occupant.

After striking the female, Salladay got out of his Chevrolet Avalanche, went to the passenger side of the vehicle, removed a .45-caliber handgun and then shot himself, Lynn said. “We believe, talking with the family of the individual, it was a culmination of events.”

Sgt. Ryan Cummings said there is no indication that Salladay or Hadland knew each other.

Hadland’s daughter, Laura Hadland, said that her mother was in surgery on Saturday but was stable and out of the Intensive Care Unit by Sunday afternoon.

She suffered from two broken hips and a broken pelvis, arm and knee, Hadland said. She also damaged a few vertebrae.

Hadland said that Salladay did not have insurance on his vehicle, so her mother would not receive any financial help from that. A gofundme.com page has been set up to assist her, and as of Monday evening, it had raised $1,180.

Members of the Linn County Multi-Agency Accident Investigation Team assisted Sweet Home Police Department in investigating the incident.

The investigation remains ongoing, Cummings said, and anyone with information related to the case should contact Officer Dave Hickcox at (541) 367-5181.

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