North Highlands Driver Arrested After Deadly Collision Kills 7

A tragic collision on Interstate 5 in western Oregon has resulted in the arrest of the driver of a semi-truck. The driver is facing charges of manslaughter, driving under the influence (DUI), and other offenses, according to authorities.

The devastating incident occurred when a semi-truck collided with a passenger van, causing the deaths of seven individuals. This crash is considered one of the deadliest in the state in recent years. Oregon State Police reported that at the time of the collision, there were eleven occupants in the van. Tragically, six people lost their lives at the scene, while another victim succumbed to injuries after being airlifted to a nearby hospital. Additionally, four individuals sustained injuries.

The driver, identified as 52-year-old Lincoln Clayton Smith from North Highlands, California, was apprehended on charges of DUI, reckless driving, manslaughter, and assault. Smith is currently being held at Marion County Jail. The details regarding his legal representation and court appearance are not yet known.

The incident took place near Albany, an agricultural area in the Willamette Valley. Two semi-trucks and a passenger van were involved in the crash. The semi-truck veered off the northbound lanes of I-5 and collided with the parked van. The force of the impact pushed the van into another truck in front of it. As a result, the northbound lanes of I-5 were closed for an extended period for investigation but were eventually reopened later that Thursday, as confirmed by state transportation officials.

Witnesses observed the aftermath of the tragic event, with bodies covered in plastic in a nearby field, as reported by the Albany Democrat-Herald. Authorities placed a blue tarp over the wrecked van and set up a barrier to block the view of the scene near one of the trucks.

One patient was transported by a Life Flight Network emergency medical helicopter to a hospital in the Salem area, as confirmed by the medical service provider.

According to eyewitness Adrian Gonzalez, the van sustained severe damage due to the powerful impact. He described it as being “sandwiched” between the two vehicles, indicating the magnitude of the collision.

This accident joins the list of Oregon’s deadliest crashes in recent memory. In August 2018, a head-on collision in Harney County claimed the lives of a family of seven, including five young children. Another tragic incident occurred in December 2012, when a tour bus accident in the area near Pendleton resulted in the deaths of nine people.

Albany, located between Salem and Eugene and approximately 70 miles south of Portland, was the site of a previous fatal crash in 1988. This fiery 23-vehicle pileup on I-5 claimed the lives of seven individuals, including two infants, and left 37 others injured.

Interstate 5 serves as the main north-south interstate highway on the West Coast, connecting various cities and communities along its route.

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