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5 die in Oregon after trees fell on several cars in extreme weather

Five people died in Oregon on Tuesday after extreme weather caused trees to fall on vehicles on several highways, State Police said.

The first accident occurred on Highway 26 near milepost 15.5 at about 11:39 a.m. local time in Clatsop County, Oregon, which is about two hours from Multnomah County, where Portland is located.

A preliminary investigation found that a severe weather event caused a “large diameter tree” to fall directly onto a passing silver Ford F-150, police said.

The driver, Justin Nolasco Pedraza, 19, and his passengers, Bonifacio Olvera Nolasco, 41, and a 4-year-old girl, suffered fatal injuries during the collision and were found dead by emergency crews, police said.

Hours later, Oregon State Police responded to an incident on Interstate 84 near milepost 40 in Multnomah County in which a black Dodge Ram towing a U-Haul, driven by a 43-year-old man, years old, was struck by a fallen tree, police said.

The passenger, Paula Chamu S├ínchez, 20, “died from the impact of the tree,” police said, and the driver was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Another accident occurred on Highway 26 near mile marker 64 in Wasco County, which is about two hours from Multnomah County.

“Preliminary investigation indicated that due to winter weather, including snow and high winds, a large tree fell onto the cab” of an eastbound Peterbilt commercial motor vehicle driven by 53-year-old James Darron Lyda, police said.

Police said Lyda was pronounced dead at the scene.

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