Sweet Home teens killed in Hwy. 228 crash

Two Sweet Home teens were killed and their younger sister was severely injured early Saturday, May 23, in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 228 near Milepost 10, in the Sunset Lane area, east of Brownsville.

According to the Oregon State Police, troopers and rescue personnel responded to the scene at approximately 12:15 a.m.

According to the OSP, preliminary investigation revealed a Ford F-250 pickup, operated by Austyn Hillsman, 21, of Junction City, was eastbound on Hwy 228 when it crossed into the westbound lane and struck a Honda Pilot operated by Caleb Simonis, 19, of Sweet Home.

According to a Facebook post by their father, Jim Simonis, Shelby Simonis, 16, was in the front passenger seat of the Pilot and their sister Kylee, 15, was seated behind Shelby.

He said they were making a late-night run to their mother Amy Simonis’ veterinary clinic in Brownsville to treat an injured dog.

Caleb Simonis sustained fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shelby Simonis was transported by Life Flight to a Springfield hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Kylee Simonis was transported by ground ambulance with serious injuries, according to their father and the OSP. She is recovering following multiple surgeries, according to family Facebook posts.

Police said Hillsman, who did not sustain serious injuries, was charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence of intoxicants, and two counts of criminally negligent homicide and was lodged at the Linn County Jail on $29,250 bond.

OSP was assisted at the scene by personnel from Brownsville Fire Department, Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District and other local agencies.

Caleb Simonis was a 2018 graduate from Sweet Home High School. His sisters attended Central Linn High School, where a memorial was set up Monday night. All three have been involved in 4-H and Future Farmers of America activities.

A gofundme page at http://www.gofundme.com/f/simonis-family-support-fund to support the family.