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Fatal Crash at Highway 20/Highway 180

Involved names released: Edwin Sondenaa was the driver of the log truck; Michael Fetch was the driver of the F150.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – On Wednesday, January 31, 2024, at approximately 3:40 p.m., Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Deputies responded to a two-vehicle single-fatality crash on Highway 20 near Blodgett, Oregon.

A Ford F150 pickup was stopped on Highway 180 waiting to turn eastbound onto Highway 20. For an unknown reason, the driver of the pickup pulled out in front of an unloaded log truck, traveling westbound on Highway 20. The driver of the log truck tried to avoid the collision with the Ford but was unable to. 

The driver of the log truck, a 36-year-old male from Siletz, was transported to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis with minor injuries sustained in the crash. The driver of the pickup truck, a 61-year-old male from Hubbard, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

It does not appear impairment or speed were factors in the crash. 

Highway 20 was closed for approximately two hours while investigators processed the scene.

If you have additional information which may help the investigation, please contact BCSO Deputy Hesseling at or call 541-766-6858.

BCSO would like to thank Oregon State Police, Philomath Fire Department, Philomath Police Department, and the Oregon Department of Transportation for their assistance with this incident.


Benton County Community Emergency Response Team Training

CORVALLIS, Ore. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office invites residents to their Community Emergency Response Team training. The course is 12 hours of online learning, followed by 16 hours in-person. The in-person weekend will be held March 8-10, 2024.

Registration is now open for the course, which includes disaster preparedness, team organization, disaster medical operations, fire safety and disaster psychology.

The Benton County Community Emergency Response Team (BCERT) program is made of dedicated volunteers who train and serve together. With support from Benton County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management, BCERT is working to build a culture of individual preparedness. Members learn what to do before, during, and after an emergency to assist themselves, their family, friends, and neighborhoods.

Over the years, BCERT volunteers have worked in wildfire evacuation shelters, call centers, and pandemic related deployments serving thousands of residents.

BCERT welcomes all abilities and provides a safe, positive, and inclusive experience for those 18 years of age and older. There are valuable skills for everyone who goes through the training. The course is free, and volunteering is optional.

Signups close at 5:00 pm, February 10, 2024, sign up soon! Email or call 541-766-6050 for more information.

If you have a desire to learn more about BCERT or how to become better prepared, go to

Winter Weather Watch for Benton County

Benton County Emergency Management wanted to make you aware of the incoming winter storm that is expected to bring cold temperatures, freezing rain, and possibly snow this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Watch for Benton County.  The timing and severity of the event may change over the next 24-48 hours, but we wanted to share this information with you and advise caution when traveling this weekend. The worst conditions will most likely be Friday and Saturday night with freezing rain and lows around 20 degrees.  The snow level will drop to 1500 feet and there is forecasted heavy snowfall in the Cascades, Cascade foothills, Cascade canyons, and Coast Range.

You can monitor the road conditions using Trip Check and the County Road Closure Page listed below. Roads will be extremely icy. Please do not call 911 unless there is an emergency.

Rivers and tributaries will experience minor flooding in low lying areas, and do not travel on roads that are flooded.

Other resources:

Benton County Sheriff’s Office Successfully Concludes Their ‘Porch Pirate’ Operation

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of a joint operation with the United States Postal Service. The campaign targeted ‘porch pirates,’ which are individuals involved in the theft of packages from neighborhoods. This operation, conducted from November 27, 2023, to December 23, 2023, was a crucial part of an ongoing commitment to combat property crimes and ensure the safety of the community.

Over the course of four weeks, a total of 24 decoy packages equipped with GPS tracking devices were placed on doorsteps in neighborhoods and businesses identified as hotspots for recent package thefts. This innovative use of technology, coupled with surveillance and community collaboration, led to the arrest of three individuals:

  1. Jerry Michael Wells (34) of Corvallis, faces charges of Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree, Theft in the Second Degree, and Mail Theft.
  2. Roxanne Martinez (64) of Albany, faces charges of Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree, Theft in the Second Degree, and Mail Theft.
  3. Kayla Marie Kidd (30) of Keizer, faces charges of Mail Theft, Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree, Attempting to Elude, Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle, two counts of Theft in the Second Degree, and Reckless Driving.

The success of this operation is a testament to our commitment to employing advanced strategies and technologies in law enforcement. The use of GPS tracking not only led to these arrests, but also serves as a deterrent to those considering similar criminal activities.

The partnership with the United States Postal Service Inspectors was instrumental in the success of this operation. Their assistance and resources enhanced BCSO’s capabilities, demonstrating the power of inter-agency cooperation in law enforcement.

BCSO is thankful to the residents of Benton County for their participation in this operation. Their engagement and cooperation were key elements in the effectiveness of this initiative. This operation is a clear example of the positive outcomes that can be achieved when law enforcement and the community work together towards a common goal.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is committed to continuing collaborative efforts and employing new approaches to ensure the safety and security of our community. They would also like to encourage residents to stay watchful and report any suspicious activities.

For more information, please contact Detective Doug Seirup at 541-766-6061 or

Mushroom Hunter Found and Airlifted to Safety

In a heartwarming turn of events on Thanksgiving Day, Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) search and rescue teams successfully located a missing male looking for mushrooms off Botkin Road, west of Philomath.

The individual, a 77-year-old male from Corvallis, had been reported missing by a family member at approximately 9:30 pm on Wednesday, November 22.

The search operation, which involved the Benton County Sheriff’s Office Marys Peak Search and Rescue, Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit, and Region 3 K9 Search & Rescue were called out to search for the hiker Wednesday night.

Search efforts continued on Thanksgiving Day with additional assistance from Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Searchers located the missing man on Thursday, November 23 at approximately 3:30 pm, down a steep drainage near a creek. The male was in a weakened state after a recent back surgery and unable to hear the rescuers due to the absence of his hearing aids. Since temperatures dropped, the man said he tried to stay moving throughout the night to stay warm. Unfortunately, he did not have a whistle or other essential gear with him and was wearing wool socks with crocs.

The male was rescued approximately a mile and a half from his vehicle and immediately airlifted to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis for further medical assessment and care.

“Thank you to all who helped on this mission,” stated Sheriff Van Arsdall. “Many volunteers sacrificed time away from family and friends on Thanksgiving Day to ensure this search had a positive outcome. We know you don’t do it for recognition but want the community to know what amazing resources our Office has, to keep the community safe.”

In light of this incident, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office would like to emphasize the importance of being prepared. To assist hikers in ensuring their safety, they would like to highlight ten essential items recommended by the American Hiking Society. To learn more about these essential items, please visit

29th Annual Shop with a Cop

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) is hosting its 29th Annual Shop with a Cop this holiday season. This highly anticipated event aims to bring together law enforcement and social workers to create an opportunity for children to create a positive interaction between children and law enforcement.

Through collaborative efforts with local agencies including Benton County Sheriff’s Office Parole and Probation and the Child Welfare offices of the Department of Human Services, a select group of elementary-aged children have been preselected to participate in this unique experience.

Last year’s event was a resounding success, as law enforcement had the privilege of taking 65 Benton County kids shopping for gifts, surpassing the 2021 participation of 49 children.

Each participant will receive a gift card, allowing them the freedom to choose their own presents. It is worth mentioning, many generous public safety professionals contribute from their own pockets the day of shopping to ensure a child can purchase exactly what they desire.

Shop with a Cop is made possible solely through donations from dedicated law enforcement personnel and community members. Financial contributions are accepted throughout the year and BCSO welcomes any support you can provide. Tax-deductible cash or checks can be made payable to “The Benton County Sheriff’s Foundation” with a memo indicating “Shop with a Cop.” Donations can be dropped off at or mailed to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, located at 180 NW 5th St. Corvallis, OR 97330.

BCSO extends its sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported this program in the past and looks forward to another successful year in bringing joy and positive interactions between law enforcement and children in the community.

On October 2, 2023, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) was called to a scene in NW Corvallis to conduct a death investigation involving a house fire.

At approximately 12:00 pm, BCSO responded to a residence located in the 3200 block of NW 60th Street, Corvallis, following a request from fire personnel present at the scene.

During their efforts to suppress the fire, firefighters from the Corvallis Fire Department discovered a deceased male inside the structure. They promptly evacuated the lone individual from the residence.

Upon assuming jurisdiction of the case, BCSO determined that the deceased individual, identified as 73-year-old Steven Payne, died of an apparent suicide.

This case remains under investigation; there is no threat to the public related to this incident. Further updates will be provided under the direction of the Benton County District Attorney’s Office.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Horn at or 541-760-4640.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office extends its gratitude to the Corvallis Fire Department, Corvallis Police Department, Benton County Public Works, Consumers Power Inc, and Northwest Natural Gas for their assistance during this incident.

On October 4, 2023 at approximately 11:00 am, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a possibly deceased man near NW 5th Street/NW Monroe Avenue, Corvallis.

The call was made by a concerned individual who noticed a middle-aged man sitting on a bench near the southwest corner of the courthouse lawn that was unresponsive.

Upon arrival, deputies confirmed that 44-year-old Brian Warzinik, a transient male, was deceased.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of death. At this time, there is no immediate threat to public safety associated with this incident. Updates will be provided as the investigation progresses.

BCSO asks the public to contact Deputy Savage at or 541-230-8829 for any information you may have regarding the death of Warzinik.

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