Mom, daughter killed in Highway 26 crash remembered as beautiful, compassionate

Deirdre Lynn Mackey and her daughter, Grace Misztal. (Family Photo)

Heartbroken to the core.

The family of a mother and daughter who did not survive a tragic car crash on Christmas Day were described as warm and caring and compassionate.

Deirdre Lynn Mackey, 48, and her 12-year-old daughter, Grace Misztal, died when their Nissan Versa lost traction on Highway 26 near milepost 65 in Wasco County. Investigators say they slid into the path of an oncoming car.

Mackey's family told KATU the pair was on their way to visit relatives in central Oregon.

"We are devastated," a family member wrote to KATU. "Deirdre and Grace [were] true treasures, who elegantly and joyfully graced the world with their hearts full of joy and love."

Mackey was employed as a program coordinator and financial specialist with American Federation of Teachers in Oregon, a nonprofit that represents approximately 15,000 education workers.

The group published a post in memory of Mackey in part saying, "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 was also very involved in her Lake Oswego community.

She was an activist with "Respond to Racism in LO" and worked tirelessly for equality at home and abroad.

"[She] was a woman dedicated to improving the community through her work with the Respond to Racism in LO group," tri-chair and friend Shava Feinstein wrote. "She 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 Dierdre and Grace’s family at this very difficult time."

Mackey's daughter was a sixth-grader enrolled at Lake Oswego Junior High.

Principal Sara Deboy sent a letter to parents this week.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the Mackey family and to all our families who will be grieving this terrible loss," Deboy said.

Deboy said crisis response teams and counselors will be available at Oak Creek Elementary and Lake Oswego Junior High beginning Tuesday, Jan. 2 to speak with students and teachers who feel the need for support or who may need a quiet space.

A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 3, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Oswego. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to Oregon Bravo Youth Orchestras and the Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center in Rainier. Mackey's daughter was inspired by sloths and celebrated a recent birthday with her mom feeding the animals.

The two-car crash impacted Highway 26 for more than 10 hours Christmas Day. The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing, though going too fast for the road conditions is considered a factor.

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