Couple killed outside of Antelope had come to Fossil to kick drug habit
FOSSIL – Two young adults met a tragic end after stealing a car in Fossil and crashing it near Antelope on August 10.
Tabitha Scott, 24, of Newburg and Elijah Wilson, 23, of Salem, were killed in a single-car accident on Highway 293 just outside of Antelope.
It took some time for Oregon State Police to identify the deceased individuals. OSP Sergeant Adam Shimer confirmed the identities of Scott and Wilson on August 15 and said that next of kin had been notified.
Oregon State Police, Shaniko Fire, Jefferson County Fire, Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT) and several landowners responded to the crash at 6:30 PM on August 10. The exact time of the accident is unknown and both Scott and Wilson were pronounced dead at the scene.
Elijah Wilson was driving a Chevy Colbalt, according to Oregon State Police. The car belonged to Carol Caldera of Fossil.
Caldera says that she was preparing to go out to her ranch just before 8 AM and ran a couple errands. She then swung back to the house to get her puppy. Caldera says she never leaves the keys in her car but did this time.
“I picked up the puppy and went back out to get into my car, and no car,” Caldera said. Initially confused and questioning herself, Caldera called her daughter who lives in Lost Valley. She then realized that the car had been stolen and phoned the Sheriff’s Office.
Wheeler County Sheriff Mike Smith said that Wilson and Scott were in Fossil for a few days. The couple stayed with relatives of Wilson’s and were trying to get clean from opioids. Sheriff Smith says that Wilson and Scott had been using fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is a leading contributor to drug overdoses and deaths.
Caldera’s neighbor told her that the couple appeared at their house at 7 AM on August 10 asking for drugs and alcohol. When the neighbor declined, they asked if they could get a ride to Madras. The neighbor then asked them to leave. It is likely that the couple then saw Carol Caldera pull into her house where they stole her car.
“It breaks my heart that these young people lost their lives,” Caldera said. “That these two lives were snuffed out that quick – cars can be replaced, lives can’t.”
Caldera says that throughout the ordeal, Oregon State Police had been very good to her and she wished to express her thanks to OSP Troopers.
“I was in bed when they came by and brought my keys to the ranch and my purse – they were so kind to me.”