Observer staff

Two are dead after an accident occurred on US 20 Saturday morning.

According to a release from Oregon State Police, just after 9 a.m. Dec. 30, a crash occurred on US 20 west of Harper, which is in Malheur County.

Preliminary investigation revealed a white 2016 Kenworth commercial truck and semitrailer operated by Brian Brunscher, 37, Springfield, was traveling eastbound near milepost 216, when for an unknown reason the vehicle entered the westbound lane of travel and into the path of an orange 2015 Freightliner commercial truck and trailer operated by James Shorten, 55, Portland.

The two commercial vehicles collided head-on and burst into flames. The westbound commercial vehicle was followed by a green Jeep Wrangler operated by Leonard Herr, 60, Middleton, Idaho, and a white Kia Spectra operated by Albert Nasby, 52, Fruitland.

The Jeep collided into the rear trailer of the westbound commercial vehicle and the Kia struck the rear of the Jeep. Airbags deployed on both passenger vehicles.

No injuries were reported by Herr or Nasby. Brunscher and Shorten were confirmed deceased at the scene.

US 20 remained closed for more than 12 hours while crews worked to extinguish the fire, investigate the scene and remove the vehicles from the roadway. Approximately 400 gallons of diesel spilled onto the roadway.

The investigation is ongoing. Speed and weather conditions are believed to be contributing factors in the crash.

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