Focushillsboro.com reported yesterday on a tragic accident on the I-5 highway that claimed the lives of seven people and left their loved ones devastated. According to recent reports, the man who was operating the Semi at the time of the accident has made an appearance in court and is now facing serious charges related to the incident.
On Friday, a 52-year-old California man made his initial court appearance on charges stemming from Thursday’s three-vehicle incident that killed seven and injured four others on Interstate 5 north of Albany.
Lincoln Clayton Smith, according to the police, was operating a semi pulling a livestock trailer with canvas sides while traveling north on Interstate 5. The semi “left the roadway” on the right side around 2:00 p.m. on Thursday near the Santiam Rest Area.
According to the authorities, Smith’s semi collided with a Ford passenger van carrying 11 people, sending it careening into a parked semi.
At least six of the van’s occupants were pronounced deceased at the spot, while a seventh was pronounced dead after being airlifted to the hospital. The ambulance took four additional persons from the van to the hospital with various injuries. All of the victims were migrant farm laborers, according to testimony from their families. The second truck’s driver walked away unscathed.
After Smith had been evaluated by medical staff, he was taken into custody and placed in the Marion County Jail. According to the police report, he has been charged with DUI, reckless driving, seven counts of second-degree manslaughter, and three instances of third-degree assault.
Prosecutors claimed at Smith’s initial court appearance on Friday that he had acknowledged to taking speed the day before and had been found in possession of methamphetamines. He was reportedly incoherent when police arrived. Fox 12 Oregon News has covered all the hearingss of the convict:
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According to the prosecution, Smith has been arrested 17 times and convicted of nine crimes in the past. The judge decided to keep him in jail without bail. On May 30th, he will return to court for his next hearing.
Several state detectives have been looking into the case to see if there were any further participants. Let us join together in prayer for the victims’ loved ones. Leave your thoughts on how this type of accident might be avoided in the future in the comments.