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Christmas Eve Car Crash Injures Nine People


Date: December 24, 2009
Location: Highway 20, between Corvallis and Albany, Oregon
Names: Sudhakar Thakillapati, Trashana Hanumantha Rao, Silvamari Thakillapati, Sushma Thakillapati, Bindu Lumen, Stevie Simpson, Andrea L. Logan, Andrew Scott Tokstad

Oregon State Police are looking for witnesses to a three-car highway crash caused by a wrong-way driver, in which nine people were injured. The accident happened December 24, 2009, around 6:30 PM, on Highway 20 between Corvallis and Albany, Oregon.

With three vehicles involved, and multiple injuries of various severity, media reports had conflicting details, but the information in this article was reported by both The Oregonian and Salem-News.com.

The crash occurred after a 1991 Ford Taurus driven by Andrew Scott Tokstad, 19, of Salem, crossed the center line for unknown reasons and first crashed into a 2006 Suzuki Forenza driven by Andrea L. Logan, 18, then crashed head-on into a 1999 Chrysler Cirrus driven by Sudhakar Thakillapatti, 32, of Corvallis.

Tokstad was treated for minor injuries at Samaritan Albany General Hospital. His three passengers, Stevie Simpson, 20; a 15-month-old girl; and a 2-month-old boy, were also taken to the hospital with possible or minor injuries.

Logan was not injured. The three passengers in her car, ages 15, 8, and 6, were also unhurt.

Thakillapatti was transported to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis with injuries that OSP described as “serious.”

Four of Thakillapatti’s passengers were also taken to the hospital. Bindu Lumen and Sushma Thakillapatti, ages unknown, had serious injuries and were taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. Trashana Hanumantha Rao, 28, was taken to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. Silvakamara Thakillapatti, 31, had unknown injuries and was taken to an unidentified hospital.

Responders included Albany Police Department, Corvallis Fire Department, and Albany Fire Department.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call OSP Recruit Trooper Jeff Freitag at 541-967-2026, ext. 4350.

Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this sudden, tragic crash, especially the children, who have their whole lives ahead of them. We are amazed and relieved the injuries were not more serious. We hope every single one of you recovers quickly, with no long-term injuries.

There are obviously still questions about what happened in this accident. What caused the car to swerve into another lane? Who is at fault? Is anyone? How will these families pay for the medical bills that will surely start to pile up? How much will insurance pay? To answer these questions, it may take some time, but those involved, or the families of those in the hospital should start to research their options now. There is evidence to collect. Reports to file. A knowledgeable attorney can help. You might be able to find the information in our book, 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case.