ONTARIO, Ore -- A horrifying scene at an Ontario gas station Monday morning ended with two people dead and two others injured, police say.
Malheur County District Attorney David Goldthorpe said during an afternoon press conference said 911 dispatchers got a panicked call at 6:51 a.m. from a witness who reported a man stabbing a woman inside a pickup truck at the JNJ Corner Store in Ontario.
"The caller described that a female was being stabbed right in front of her," Goldthorpe said.
As Ontario Police officers arrived on the scene, they spotted the pickup driving away and gave chase, pursuing the vehicle south on Highway 201.
As officers followed, the pickup's driver - later identified as 49-year-old Anthony Montwheeler of Nampa - swerved into oncoming traffic near Southwest 18th Avenue, hitting an 2001 Ford Excursion SUV head-on.
The driver of the SUV was killed. His passenger was seriously injured, but is now listed in stable condition, Goldthorpe said.
Montwheeler survived, and was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.
A woman was found dead in the passenger seat of the pickup. Investigators have not released whether she was killed in the collision or was stabbed to death.
Police have not released the names of the victims. Charges are pending against Montwheeler, who remains hospitalized.
Ontario Police Chief Cal Kunz said his agency is leading the homicide investigation with help from Oregon State Police, and OSP is taking lead on the crash investigation. Police are working to get warrants to search the vehicles involved, he said.
Kunz said Weiser Police had earlier found the stabbed woman's car abandoned in the middle of a Weiser street. Police say Montwheeler was holding the woman against her will.
Investigators do not believe the woman were targeted at random, Kunz said, but did not elaborate on how the victim and suspect knew each other.
"We believe there is a connection - we're still getting to the bottom of that," he said.
Highway 201 was closed for about six hours as officers investigated, but has since been reopened.
OSP Lt. Mark Duncan said there was ice and heavy fog in the area when the crash happened, but added that investigators have not yet determined if the weather was a factor in the wreck, or whether Montwheeler had intentionally steered into the path of the other vehicle.
The District Attorney's Office has not yet released what charges Montwheeler will face. Check back with KTVB for updates.
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