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Police say Edward 'Ed' Alstat, 71, may have had a medical emergency while driving

KOIN 6 NEWS PHOTO - Edward Alstat, 71, was pronounced deceased at the scene.Sandy naturopath and businessman, Edward K. Alstat, 71, was killed Friday, Jan. 26, when police say the car he was driving on Highway 26 near Ruben Lane crossed the center turn lane and into oncoming traffic, colliding nearly head-on with a semi truck towing two fuel trailers.

Oregon State Police reported Monday morning that Alstat may have suffered a medical emergency prior to the crash. The wreck is still under investigation. OSP was assisted at the scene by Sandy Police Department, Sandy Fire District and Oregon Department of Transportation.

The crash happened around 4:45 a.m. on Highway 26, just east of the intersection with Ruben Lane in Sandy.

The semi was operated by Daniel A. McIntosh, 49, of Fairview.

Oregon State Police say Alstat was westbound on the five-lane Highway 26 when his 1997 Jaguar Coupe veered across the center turn lane and into the eastbound lanes.

Alstat died at the scene, while McIntosh was not injured.

Alstat was a local naturopathic pharmacist and physician and the founder of Eclectic Institute, an organic farm and herbal supplement manufacturing company that has operated in Sandy for nearly 20 years. Alstat was a graduate of what is now called the National University for Natural Medicine, and he received several accolades during his life for his contributions to his alma mater and the field of naturopathic medicine.

First located in downtown Sandy, the Eclectic Institute moved to the McKinnon Airpark in 2013 where Alstat, his wife Christine, and their children Edwin, Katy, Nick, and Bobby, lived and worked on a 90-acre farm to produce the herbs and produce that were used in his pharmaceuticals.

In his obituary, Alstat's wife said his roots had always been in farming, and that "he spent his last years on a gorgeous farm in Sandy, Oregon, with a view of Mount Hood and regular visits by local wildlife including elk, coyote, deer, skunk, and beaver."

"Ed would like that his life was bookended by farm life," the obituary reads. "Ed's professional contributions are evident, but just as important are his personal interactions, and what will be missed most is his openness to sharing the beauty and simple pleasures in life with all of those he encountered on his journey."

The company published a post on its Instagram account on Jan. 27 announcing the sudden loss of its guiding light.

"Ed was a larger-than-life personality, and it will be a dimmer world without him," the post read. "All of us at Eclectic are saddened by this tremendous loss and hope that you will join us in remembering Ed with love and respect for all that he contributed during his lifetime."

Alstat's family conducted an intimate, private ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 28, but plans are in the works to host a celebration of life at the Eclectic Institute in June. POLICE PHOTO - Police are still investigating the crash.

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