Woman drowns after driving into the river

On Thursday, March 4, shortly after 4 p.m., emergency crews were dispatched to the report of a SUV that drove into the Willamette River at the Wheatland Ferry, just north of Keizer.  

Prior to emergency crews arriving on scene, the vehicle was completely submerged in the water. Witnesses at the scene reported only seeing one person in the vehicle when it entered the river. 

Efforts to locate the vehicle were soon suspended due to darkness. Efforts resumed the morning of March 5 and rescue crews located a GMC Terrain with the lone occupant still inside. The driver was later identified as Jeanie Sandall, 56, of Dayton.

The vehicle was removed from the Willamette River. Investigators have tentatively identified the deceased driver of the vehicle. The circumstances leading up to the vehicle being driven into the water are still under investigation.

Along with the GMC, two additional unrelated vehicles were located in the water. Both vehicles were unoccupied and appeared to have been underwater for an extended period of time. Due to the challenging location in the waterway of the other two vehicles, there will be no efforts to remove them at this time.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was assisted during initial search operations by the following agencies; Marion County Public Works, Keizer Fire Department, Keizer Police Department, Salem Fire Department, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Lake Oswego Fire District, Woodburn Ambulance, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Parks Department, and Life Flight.