Location: Interstate 5 North of Brownsville
Name: Patrick W. Smith
Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash that resulted in injuries to a Vancouver, Washington truck driver.
Oregon Live reported that at approximately 11:25am a 1995 Freightliner semi-tractor without a trailer was being driven by Patrick W. Smith, age 54. Smith was southbound on Interstate 5 near milepoint 221 about 5 miles north of the Brownsville/ Halsey exits when he lost control of his vehicle, crossed over the center median into northbound lanes, became air-borne and finally touched down on the north bank of the Calapooia River between the northbound and southbound bridges. The vehicle continued traveling down the bank until it stopped about 10 feet into the river with its front tires submerged.
Smith was able to exit the vehicle, and he was transported to Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis with minor injuries. He was later cited for failing to maintain his lane of travel, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and possessing a controlled substance in a commercial motor vehicle.
A hazardous material spill team was sent to the scene, but no hazardous materials were released into the river as a result of this crash.
We are relieved that Mr. Smith was not seriously injured in what could easily have been a fatal crash. We hope that he will recover soon and return to full health.
While accidents like this one can seem black or white, a closer investigation will sometimes turn up a surprise. Many reading this article may assume that the driver fell asleep at the wheel or was under the influence of a controlled substance, or stopped paying attention for some other reason. And perhaps that is exactly what happened. But there are many other possibilities as well. If previous accidents have happened on that stretch of highway, perhaps poor road conditions or missing warning signs could be a contributing factor. In that case, the city/county/state could share liability. Maybe the semi-tractor had mechanical or steering problems. These things happen, and when someone is involved in an accident, a competent Oregon truck accident attorney can investigate and find out what happened. Usually at no cost. For more information on what to do in the case of an Oregon accident, contact our office or read 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case.