Monday May 20, 2013
Police Say Drunk Driver Going Wrong Way Causes Crash East of SalemSalem-News.com
An early Friday morning alcohol-related injury crash east of Salem is an example of what Oregon law enforcement agencies will be trying to prevent through increased enforcement efforts this New Year's holiday weekend.
(SALEM) - On December 29th shortly after midnight, Oregon State Police (OSP) Northern Command Center dispatch received a call reporting a car was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Highway 22E east from Salem at a high rate of speed. The report also indicated the car had spun out, struck a tree but then continued eastbound.
As two OSP troopers were responding to the highway, a Marion County Sheriff's Office deputy and Stayton police officer got into position on the eastbound side of the divided highway and spotted the car, a 1994 Chrysler. Both officers drove parallel to the car with their overhead lights and sirens activated in an attempt to get the driver's attention to stop, but the driver failed to respond.
At 12:20 AM near milepost 10, the car crashed head-on with a westbound Ford Focus. Both vehicles reportedly were heavily damaged.
The driver of the Ford Focus, 22-year old Glen Allen Burnett, from Salem, received minor injuries, and was transported to an area hospital.
The driver of the Chrysler, 24-year old Armando Rivera Hernandez, from northeast Salem, was not injured.
OSP Senior Trooper Doug Brown conducted the investigation and took Armando Hernandez into custody for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Assault in the Fourth Degree.
He was also cited for Possession of an Open Container of Alcohol and No Operators License. Armando Hernandez was lodged in Marion County Jail.
State Police, county and city police agencies around Oregon will be joining others throughout the country cracking down on intoxicated drivers this News Years weekend.
Overtime grant funds provided through ODOT will be used by many agencies to put additional OSP troopers and local officers out during the holiday weekend to locate and arrest intoxicated and other dangerous drivers.
During last year's New Years holiday weekend, OSP troopers arrested 88 DUII drivers. Nearly half (41) of those arrested occurred after midnight on January 1st.
According to ODOT, alcohol has been a factor in 41 percent of Oregon traffic deaths around the New Year's and Christmas holiday periods during the last ten years. Six people died in 5 separate traffic crashes during last year's 78-hour New Year's holiday period (6:00 PM December 30th, through 11:59 PM January 2nd).
For those who may mix holiday celebrations with alcohol, OSP and ODOT recommend the following tips to help make your journey safer:
* Don't drink and drive, and don't ride with anyone who has had too much to drink. * Volunteer to be a designated driver. * If you see someone you know who has had too much to drink to drive, take his or her keys. * If hosting a gathering, provide non-alcoholic beverages. * Use public transit or local drive-home services provided by taxis and other companies. * Always use safety restraints. * Report any suspected impaired driving by calling 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865) or 9-1-1.
For more information about the national effort to battle impaired driving, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.Org.
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