Oregon woman dies in car crash day after accepting marriage proposal

Reuters News
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Posted: May 14, 2015 4:07 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - An Oregon woman was killed in a car crash and her fiance was in the hospital fighting for his life a day after the couple got engaged on a California beach, authorities said on Thursday.

Melissa Hudson, 28, of Grants Pass, Oregon, died on Sunday after a collision on a California highway near the Oregon border when the jeep her fiance was driving crossed into a left turn lane and collided head-on with another vehicle, causing the jeep to overturn, a California Highway Patrol statement said.

Hudson’s fiance, Jacob Zeliff, 32, also of Grants Pass, was flown to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland with major injuries, according to police. Friends of the couple said on social media he was fighting for his life.

The cause of the collision is under investigation and the driver of the other vehicle was treated for moderate injuries, police said. California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Brandy Gonzalez said that driver was not at fault.

Hudson had an 8-year-old son and celebrated her birthday on Saturday, according to a friend who set up an online fundraising campaign for funeral expenses.

“Her birthday turned out to be the happiest day of her life, as the man of her dreams proposed to her on the beach,” Nancy Iannois said on the fundraising website GoFundMe.

“She woke up on Sunday and made phone calls to those she loved to wish them Happy Mother's Day and to share her excitement over her newly engaged status. As many of us were basking in the joy of her blissfulness, the last thing we expected was the news that came next.”

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)