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Jun-13-2009 17:46printcomments

Spike Strips Halt Long Distance Wrong Way Driver on I-5 in Southern Oregon (PHOTOS)

Police say the wrong way driver blew past officers while driving the wrong way on the freeway and only stopped after being spike stripped.

Wrong way freeway driver 35-year old Karena Grim of Glendale, Oregon
Photo of 35-year old Karena Grim of Glendale courtesy: Douglas County Sheriff's Office Stop Scene Photos courtesy: Oregon State Police

(ROSEBURG, Ore.) - Police say a Glendale, Oregon woman was hospitalized and arrested after an early Saturday morning incident during which she drove nearly 20 miles the wrong way on Interstate 5 between Glendale and Canyonville.

Oregon State Police troopers and Douglas County Sheriff deputies were able to get her vehicle stopped using spike strips after closing the southbound lanes at two locations, according to OSP Sergeant Steve Mitchell.

He says it began this morning at 1:46 a.m. when a 911 caller reported a traffic crash on southbound Interstate 5 near milepost 79 near the Douglas and Josephine County line.

"Shortly after the report, OSP Dispatch received another call of a wrong way driver traveling northbound in the southbound lanes near milepost 80."

Mitchell says state troopers from Roseburg and deputies from Douglas County responded to the area to attempt to intercept the wrong way vehicle.

"Continuous reports called into OSP dispatch advised the wrong way vehicle was continuing northbound in the southbound lanes heading towards Canyon Mountain south of Canyonville."

Troopers and deputies closed the southbound lanes at milepost 98 and at milepost 95 to prevent drivers from colliding with the wrong way vehicle.

Police had their overhead emergency lights flashing, hoping to attract the wrong way driver's attention.

They were standing by at milepost 95 when the wrong way vehicle approached their road closure at 2:03 a.m.

Mitchell says that instead of stopping for the officers and their positioned patrol vehicles, the driver continued past them.

Then spike strips were quickly and successfully deployed, which flattened both of the car's left side tires.

"The wrong way driver continued northbound in the southbound lanes for approximately two miles until it came to a controlled stop on the freeway shoulder near milepost 97."

According to Mitchell, the female driver, later identified as 35-year old Karena Grim of Glendale, fled into nearby brush and hid.

It didn't last long he says, and OSP troopers found her hiding a short distance away from her stopped red 1996 Pontiac Grand Am.

"Officers found a seriously injured male passenger lying on the ground outside of the Pontiac from injuries believed sustained in the crash near milepost 79," Mitchell said.

55-year old Glenn Fulp of Wolf Creek, was initially treated at the scene by Canyonville Fire Department personnel. Fulp and Grim where both transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg.

Following her treatment at Mercy Medical Center for her injuries, Grim was lodged at the Douglas County Jail for DUII, Reckless Driving, Assault in the Fourth Degree and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.

OSP troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office are continuing the investigation.

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Mike H. June 13, 2009 7:09 pm (Pacific time)

What a happy camper. Some lady was driving northbound on Commercial St. on the one way section of it right at me and when she passed me and a few other cars she glared at me like,'What are you doing driving the wrong way as&%ole?' All the mean while she was driving down the one way.

Editor: Mike, you are one of our most welcome posters, but please refrain from using words that I have to modify, thanks!

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