Thirty-nine year old Senior Trooper Maria Mignano was the victim of a traffic crash that occurred on September 4, 2001, on Interstate 5 at the Ankeny Hill Exit, mile point 243, South of Salem. She, Oregon State Police Sergeant John Burright, and off-duty Albany police officer Jason Hoerauf were stopped along the shoulder of the freeway, and were assisting the occupants of a disabled vehicle. Nineteen-year-old Jacob Todoriko, driving a northbound pickup, fell asleep at the wheel, left the roadway and crashed into the officers as they stood in the graveled area east of the road shoulder. Senior Trooper Mignano and Officer Hoerauf were killed on impact, and Sergeant Burright was critically injured
Maria was born in 1962 in Long Beach, California, to Anthony and Rose Mignano. She, along with her identical twin sister, was the youngest of eight children. Trooper Mignano moved to Oregon in 1984, after attending college and becoming a certified EMT. She was employed as a permits specialist with the Oregon Department of Transportation, then as an Emergency Room admissions clerk at Salem Hospital, before becoming a member of the Oregon State Police in June of 1993. During her eight-year term with the Oregon State Police, Senior Trooper Mignano earned an Officer of the Year award, was a member of the Mobile Response Team, and was certified as a Drug Recognition Expert. She was a martial arts expert, taught boxing, and instructed EMT classes. Senior Trooper Mignano is survived by her mother, three sisters, twin, and two brothers. She is buried at Belcrest Cemetery in Salem.