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Aug-13-2006 12:03printcomments

Southbound I-5 at Highway 34 Interchange Reopens After Morning Crash (UPDATE)

All lanes open on Southbound I-5 after fatal crash, but southbound traffic is slow near the area of the accident.

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(CORVALLIS) - All lanes of southbound I-5 are now open after a morning accident resulted in the death of an Albany man and the arrest of a driver from Mississipppi.

Oregon State Police had closed one lane of I-5 about 7 miles south of the Highway 34 interchange to conduct a reconstruction at milepost 221. The lane was closed for over 2 hours.

Investigators say the crash happened at approximately 6:10 AM, when a 1997 Dodge Ram pickup driven by 47-year old David L. Parsons of Newton, Mississippi, was soutbhound on Interstate 5 near milepost 221.

Witnesses told investigators that the pickup was traveling at a high rate of speed when it attempted to change lanes from the left to right southbound lane and crashed into the back of a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder with two occupants.

The impact resulted in the Nissan losing control and rolling an unknown number of times before coming to a stop on its wheels on the right southbound shoulder.

Witnesses further stated that Parsons attempted to drive away from the scene but was unable to because of damage to the pickup.

The Nissan's driver, 36-year old Bradley Joe Martin of Albany, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The passenger, 42-year old Mitch Smith of Albany, was transported by LifeFlight to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Both were using safety restraints.

Parsons was transported by ambulance to Albany General Hospital where he was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries. Safety restraint use information is not available but his pickup's airbag did deploy.

Upon release, Parsons was taken into custody at the direction of the Linn County District Attorney's Office. He was lodged in the Linn County Jail for Manslaughter in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Felony Hit and Run, and DUII.

Oregon State Police troopers are continuing the investigation with the assistance of Albany Police. Additional assistance has been provided by Linn County Sheriff's Office and ODOT.


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