Date: March 20, 2010
Location: Highway 26 & SE 267th Avenue, Gresham, Oregon
Names: Ronald Bruce Erickson
A wrong-way driver died March 20, 2010, in a single-car crash in Gresham, Oregon. Investigators believe a medical problem may have been a contributing factor, according to the Oregon State Police.
The fatal crash occurred around 6 PM on Highway 26 near the intersection with SE 267th Avenue, as Ronald Bruce Erickson, 65, of Southeast Portland, was driving east in the westbound lanes of the freeway. Erickson’s car was involved in a minor, non-injury crash near Hillyard Road, then continued driving in the wrong lane for about half a mile.
As the car approached SE 267th Avenue, it struck the guardrail and came to rest on the shoulder. The crash threw Erickson from the car, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
OSP troopers learned that Erickson had diabetes, and are looking into the possibility that complications from his medical condition may have led to the crash.
We send our deepest sympathies to Erickson’s family, and hope they find some comfort in the many people who are keeping Erickson in their hearts.
When a driver passes out due to a medical condition, it can be difficult to figure out who’s at fault. You may be surprised to read this from a personal injury attorney, but the answer may be “no one.” A freak accident is what we call an “act of God,” and nobody gets blamed. However, here are some other possibilities:
- The driver may have been on medication that specifically stated he shouldn’t drive. That would make it the driver’s fault.
- The driver may have been on medication that did not state he shouldn’t drive, but should have! That would make it the fault of whoever produced, tested, and labeled the medication.
- The driver may have been on medication that should state that he shouldn’t drive, but the pharmacist mislabeled it. This would be the pharmacy’s fault.
- The driver’s doctor may have misdiagnosed a condition, and therefore failed to tell the driver that he shouldn’t be driving.
There’s no way to know what actually happened to cause this tragedy without further investigation. Sometimes a competent Portland personal injury attorney can help give you the answers you need.