Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers, with the assistance of Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, are continuing the investigation into an early Sunday morning fatal traffic crash involving a wrong way driver on Interstate 5 about four miles north of Canyonville. A 44-year old male was killed and the 26-year old male wrong way driver received non-life threatening injuries. The names of both persons are released in this update.
According to Lieutenant Doug Ladd, on March 3, 2013 at approximately 4:25 a.m., a 2000 GMC Yukon sport utility vehicle driven by Joshua Davis, age 26, from Eugene, was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near milepost 102 when it collided head-on with a southbound 2010 Kia sedan. The Kia’s driver, Victor Anderson, age 44, from Oakland, Oregon, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Davis was transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was using safety restraints. Use of safety restraints by the victim is pending confirmation. Both vehicles’ airbags deployed.
OSP troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash. Due to no troopers on duty at the time, they were called out to investigate the crash. A Myrtle Creek Police Department officer responded initially until OSP troopers arrived to take over.
OSP was also assisted by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Tri-City Fire Department, South Umpqua Fire Department, and ODOT. An OSP collision reconstructionist responded to the scene. Southbound lanes were closed about one hour before one lane was open. All lanes were expected to be open by 12 noon.
Wrong way drivers present an obvious danger to all motorists on our highways. The most recent available crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates wrong way drivers are involved in 1.5% of all fatal crashes nationally. Wrong way drivers usually drive in the inside lane or inside shoulder, believing they are actually on a two-lane highway. Most common types of wrong way driver involved crashes are head-on or sideswipe crashes.
The following information and safety tips are offered related to wrong way drivers.
Who is the wrong way driver?
- Intoxicated driver
- Older drivers who easily get confused
- Intentional drivers (example – trying to avoid traffic jams / congestion caused by crashes)
- Inattentive drivers who mistake an off ramp for an on ramp
- Watch far ahead for signs of a possible wrong way driver, looking for signs similar to pending problems or developing emergency situations such as other traffic braking or swerving to avoid something, or the obvious – headlights coming in the opposite direction.
- Caution against driving long periods in the inside lane on freeways, especially on curves.
News Release and Photographs – Oregon State Police