Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office

YONCALLA, Ore. - A Yoncalla man died in a single vehicle traffic crash Thursday evening. 

On Thursday, March 9, 2023, shortly before 6:00 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers received reports of a single vehicle crash in the 1900-block of Hayhurst Road in Yoncalla. 

Deputies arrived on scene to find a 2012 Dodge Caravan, which had been traveling north on Hayhurst Road, off of the roadway. The driver was identified as 67-year-old John Fred Kowal of Yoncalla. Kowal was pronounced deceased at the scene by E.M.S. Kowal, the only occupant in the vehicle, was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash. 

Indications at the scene and from witness statements are that Kowal's vehicle had entered into the path of an oncoming vehicle in a corner when Kowal made a sharp correction and leaving the roadway. Speed and alcohol are suspected to be contributing factors in the incident. 

The Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by North Douglas Fire & E.M.S. and Lougheads Automotive & Towing.