Two residents die in Hwy 20 crash
August 23, 2023
Oregon State Police responded to a two-vehicle collision on Highway 20 near milepost 19 and Waterloo Drive that resulted in two fatalities on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at about 8:51 a.m.
OSP reported a preliminary investigation revealed a gray Hyundai Elantra driven by Joel William Applebaum, 30, of Sweet Home, was traveling east on Hwy 20. A yellow Mitsubishi Lancer, driven by Joy Lavonne Backus, 70, of Sweet Home, was traveling west on Hwy 20.
For unknown reasons, the Hyundai left its lane, entered the oncoming lane, and struck the Mitsubishi head on. Both drivers were declared deceased when emergency services arrived on scene. Westbound traffic was diverted around the incident and eastbound traffic was moved to a single lane for approximately three hours during the investigation.
OSP was assisted by Lebanon Fire Department, Sweet Home Fire Department, Oregon Department of Transportation, Linn County Medical Examiner's Office, and Sweet Home Funeral Home.