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Deirdre Lynn Mackey, 48, and Grace Misztal, 12, died on Christmas Day when their car lost traction on snowy Highway 26 and crossed into oncoming traffic, police say

{img:184525}A Lake Oswego woman and her 12-year-old daughter were killed on Christmas Day when their Nissan Versa lost traction and crossed into the path of an oncoming Subaru Outback on Highway 26 in Wasco County.

Deirdre Lynne Mackey, 48, and her daughter, Lake Oswego Junior High sixth-grader Grace Misztal, were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Subaru was identified as Portland resident Darrow Geordan Rupp, 41; he and his passenger, 39-year-old Maria Suzanne Veltman, were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

The two-vehicle crash, which was reported to the Oregon State Police at around 3:25 p.m. Monday, closed Highway 26 just east of the intersection with Highway 35 for more than 10 hours while the OSP, ODOT and the Hoodland Fire Department responded.

Driving too fast for the conditions is being considered as a factor in the crash, although OSP Lt. Bill Fugate said an investigation is ongoing.

In a Facebook post late Tuesday, Mackey's sister, Jasper Lotus Hawkins, said the women were on their way to Bend to share Christmas with their family when the accident occurred.

"Deirdre and Grace shined brightly in their lives with joy and love and made this world a more beautiful place for all who knew them," Hawkins wrote. "We cannot imagine the world without them in it."

{img:184524}Mackey was a program manager and financial specialist with the American Federation of Teachers in Oregon. In a statement on the organization's website, her co-workers shared their thoughts about her.

"Deirdre was warm and caring, always willing to help a co-worker — or a stranger — at a moment's notice. She brought that same love to her work at AFT-Oregon as our Program Coordinator and Financial Specialist," the statement says. "Deirdre was a skilled project manager and all-around talent, committed to social justice and the union movement. She was our friend. Deirdre and Grace will be missed dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family, and we join them in mourning their extraordinary loss."

Mackey helped manage communications and organize meetings for Respond to Racism, a grassroots group that formed in Lake Oswego over the summer. Shava Feinstein, one of the organization's leaders, said Mackey "demonstrated warmth, compassion and kindness to her friends and members of the Lake Oswego community. Her compassion for humankind was recognized in her work to end racism in the both the local and broader communities. Words cannot begin to explain the loss we all feel as we process this tragedy. Our prayers and thoughts go out to Deirdre and Grace's family at this very difficult time."

Lake Oswego Junior High Principal Sara Deboy said Tuesday that crisis response teams will be available at Oak Creek Elementary and LOJ beginning at 8:15 a.m. on Jan. 2, when students return from winter break.

"Teams of counselors will be available to speak with students and teachers who feel the need for support or who may need a quiet space," Deboy said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the Mackey family and to all our families who will be grieving this terrible loss."

Family members said that services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3, at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Oswego. In lieu of flowers, they ask that donations be made to Oregon Bravo Youth Orchestras and the Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center.Mackey's sister told The Review this week that Grace was inspired by sloths and celebrated a recent birthday with her mom feeding the animals.

— KOIN 6 News, The Review's broadcast news partner, contributed to this report.

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