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Sep-25-2010 17:49printcomments

Oregon State Police Continues Fatal Crash Investigation

Northbound lanes were blocked until 3:50 p.m.

Crash Scene I5 Salem
Photos: Oregon State Patrol

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Saturday afternoon's two vehicle fatal traffic crash in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 about one mile south of Market Street in Salem. One driver was killed and a second driver received minor injuries. The deceased driver's name will be released later this evening.

According to OSP Trooper Jennifer Johnson, on September 25, 2010 at approximately 12:30 p.m. a 1997 Honda del Sol driven by a 30-year old female was southbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 255 in the left lane. The Honda attempted to move into the center lane at the same time another vehicle was attempting to move from the right lane to the center lane. Both drivers veered back toward their lanes. The Honda's driver lost control and over-corrected, crossing the raised center median into the inside northbound lane where it collided head-on with a 2005 Chevrolet Suburban. After impact, the Chevrolet flipped onto its top and skidded until it stopped in the right northbound lane.

A Salem police officer was on a traffic stop and witnessed the Honda cross the median. The officer ran over to the crash scene and found the Honda's driver deceased.

The Chevrolet's driver, 63-year old Michael D. Connor of Salem, was transported by ambulance to Salem Hospital with minor injuries.

The crash blocked all northbound lanes until 3:50 p.m. The right shoulder was opened at about 2:15 p.m. to northbound traffic.

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

Salem Police Department, Marion County Sheriff's Office, Salem Fire Department, and the Marion County Medical Examiner assisted at the scene. ODOT handled traffic control and detour duties.

Update to Salem I5 Crash Update

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Past officer April 4, 2012 8:43 pm (Pacific time)

These kind of accidents happen every day across the United States, Yes they are tragic, BUT please remember that when we learn to drive, we are told that "It's not just you that you need to be aware of, it's other drivers more. I do feel for both parties involved, I agree that our Highways need better protection between N/S, E/W. Most of all please be aware. please!!!!

Angel September 30, 2010 12:57 pm (Pacific time)

May God be with this beautiful young life's family and friends. Hug your loved ones today and pray for hers, and the family of the man who had to live through this traggic accident.. and it was just that, AN accident... no fault here that it happened.

Kathryn September 29, 2010 7:18 pm (Pacific time)

I witnessed an accident happen just before Market St in the same way 5 years ago. The woman lost control, launched over the grass area into an RV going the other way. She died on the scene while we tried to save her life *shaking head*

Scott September 26, 2010 9:22 am (Pacific time)

My deep simpathy to the driver that lost their life. I am from out of state and was in the traffic that followed the accident. While sitting there I could figure out that the medium is of unsafe design and was very surprised there was no cable on the top. I can only hope they fix this poor design before more people get hurt.

notamused September 25, 2010 8:12 pm (Pacific time)

This crossover problem in Salem will almost certainly be solved soon. After a similar fatal accident happened near Wilsonville, ODOT was quick to announce the benefits of the cable system and it was quickly installed in a large area which included the accident site. In Salem, the high center median is particularly dangerous because it tends to "launch" vehicles. The cost of the system is dwarfed by the potential liability that the state may face in a case like this. After all, the estate of the deceased deserves compensation due to ODOT's negligence and we, as taxpayers and, ultimately, the employers of ODOT staffers, should be held accountable.

notamused September 25, 2010 6:58 pm (Pacific time)

That did not take long. Once again, a simple (and inexpensive) cable and post system (ODOT knows about this problem) would have prevented crossover.

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