Fatal crash on 140 involving road construction worker [UPDATED]


UPDATE: June 21, 2019 12:30 PM

KFN has learned from Eve Costello, Klamath County District Attorney, that the DA’s office should know by the end of next week as to whether Gonzales, driver of the vehicle that struck and killed a construction worker on Tuesday will face criminal charges.

“She [Zahara Gonzales, 38, of Klamath Falls] was the driver of the car and the accident is currently under investigation by the Oregon State Police,” says Costello. “We anticipate a decision by the end of next week regarding whether or not the accident will result in criminal charges.”

UPDATE: June 20, 2019, 9:30 PM

A Go Fund Me fundraising campaign has been established for the family of fallen flagger, Daniel Wessel. As of the time of this update, the campaign has raised over $8,600 for the family by 107 people in just 6 hours.

The Go Fund Me page reads:
Daniel recently passed away in a tragic accident. He is survived by his wife Beth and children Melissa, Maddie, Jenna, Clayton and Samuel. He was an amazing husband, dad, son, brother and friend to many. He will be missed by so many, but never forgotten. If you can help in any way, please donate to this amazing family. 


UPDATE: June 19, 2019, 4:08PM

Upon hearing of the incident, ODOT Director Matt Garrett commented that, “One injury or fatality among our staff and contractors is one too many,” adding, “Our hearts, minds, prayers and thoughts go out to this family of our fallen comrade. We will, we must do better at protecting those who put their lives on the line to enhance and maintain our vital transportation system.”

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ORIGINAL : June 19, 2019, 10:33am

OSP Release

On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at approximately 8:32 P.M. Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a pedestrian hit by a vehicle on Highway 140 East near milepost 8, and the easternmost Pine Grove Road intersection.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a gold Mazda, operated by Zahara Gonzales, 38, of Klamath Falls, was traveling westbound on Highway 140E, entering an active construction zone. Gonzales struck a road construction flagger, identified as Daniel Wessel, 45, of Klamath Falls.  Wessel was working for Rocky Mountain Construction.

Wessel sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Highway 140E was closed for 4 hours following the crash.

The Oregon State Police was assisted by Oregon Department of Transportation, Klamath County Sheriff's Office, and Klamath Fire Department.