Highway 26 closed in Manning after fatal crash

This story was originally published at 3:20 p.m. Monday, March 19 and has been updated with more information from the Oregon State Police on Tuesday, March 20 at 8 a.m.

Manning- A two vehicle fatal crash closed Highway 26 near the Manning Dairy Queen around 2:15 p.m. on Monday, closing one lane of the highway for about four hours for an investigation, according to the Oregon State Police.

A black 1998 VW Passat operated by Mitchel Braning, 55, of Banks, was traveling west on Highway 26 and had entered into a painted median, slowing down and preparing to turn left when a westbound silver 2002 BMW 3 series, driven by George Henry Fleerlage, 86, of Portland, left its lane, crossed into the same painted median, and rear-ended the VW Passat.

After initially declining transport via ambulance, Braning was eventually transported by ground ambulance to Tuality Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Fleerlage was pronounced deceased at the scene. Both vehicles held a single occupant.

According to the Oregon State Police, a medical emergency and lack of safety restraint are being considered as factors in the fatality.

According to Banks Fire District #13, Life Flight was called and then cancelled after Fleerlage was pronounced deceased on the scene.

This is the third person killed in a crash on Highway 26 in less than 72 hours, after two people were killed in a deadly crash on Friday.

Banks Fire District #13, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Metro West Ambulance, and the Oregon Department of Transportation all responded to the crash.

Sources and more information:

Washington County Sheriff’s Office
Banks Fire District #13 PIO Mitch Ward
Eyewitness reports
Oregon State Police media release