The Oregon farmworkers union and Mexican officials confirmed that the victims of one of Oregon’s deadliest highway crashes were agricultural workers returning home in a van after a long day of harvest work.
Authorities have not yet announced the identities of the seven people killed and four others injured when a semitruck careened off Interstate 5 and into a parked van in a rural part of the Willamette Valley near Albany on Thursday(18 May 2023).
On Twitter, KATU News discussed an accident on an Oregon highway:
Staff with PCUN, a union for Oregon farmworkers, tell KATU the victims of the deadly I-5 crash near Albany are all agriculture workers.https://t.co/2MwSHe8Cx4
— KATU News (@KATUNews) May 21, 2023
Woodburn’s PCUN union stated in a statement late Friday that it had been in touch with some of the families of the 11 persons in the car to offer assistance. Condolences were sent to individuals who had lost loved ones in the tragedy.
The union’s executive director, Reyna Lopez, was cited as stating, “At this time, families are asking for safer roads for workers commuting after a hard day’s work.”
In a tweet, Megan Allison has posted Reyna Lopez’s full statement:
The group PCUN is a union for Oregon farmworkers. They shared this statement following the deadly crash on I-5 this week. pic.twitter.com/U0IErM3ctq
— Megan Allison (@mallisonKATU) May 20, 2023
“According to information provided by the office of the Oregon State Police, seven deaths were reported in the … accident and four people injured, all of them apparently agricultural workers of Mexican nationality,” the statement said.
The consul went to a hospital in Salem, the state capital, to help those who had been injured and needed “urgent medical attention,” as the report put it.
The consulate also said it was in touch with authorities and looking for the victim’s loved ones. Call the consulate if you or a loved one has been killed or injured, it said.
Lincoln Clayton Smith, 52, of North Highlands, California, was arrested on Friday(19 May 2023) on suspicion of manslaughter, DUI, reckless driving, and assault after he allegedly drove the semitruck that crashed into the van. He was being held in the Marion County Jail without bond.
The state public defender’s office or a specific attorney was not identified as handling Smith’s case. A message left with the office seeking comment on this was not immediately returned, and a lawyer whose name appears in court filings declined to discuss the matter because she had not been formally assigned to it.
As per the Salem Statesman Journal, a district attorney testified at Smith’s arraignment that Smith had refused a field sobriety test and had difficulty paying attention and answering basic questions.
The prosecutor also claimed that Smith admitted to using “speed” the day before the incident and that he was in possession of methamphetamine.
The District Attorney told the Statesman Journal that eyewitnesses saw the vehicle swerving all over the northbound lanes on Thursday afternoon before it crashed head-on into a van. Oregon State Police said that the vehicle was forced into the back of a parked truck.
The van was carrying everyone who died. Oregon State Police Stated, six people were killed instantly, and another died after being flown to a hospital. The public has not been updated on the status of the four injured.
The Albany Democrat-Herald said that following the incident, people saw bodies wrapped in plastic in a nearby field.
This crash ranks among Oregon’s deadliest in recent memory. In August of 2018, a family of seven was killed in a head-on collision on a rural road in Harney County, Oregon. Among the victims were five little children. The final death toll was eight.
These resources will help you learn more about Oregon:
- The First Clinic in the United States Dedicated to Psilocybin Therapy Will Open in Oregon.
- Oregon Driver Shatters Speed Records at 176 Mph on I-5!
- Portland Has Been Named Google’s Oregon Doodle for Google.
On an icy stretch of Interstate 84 in December 2012, a tour bus lost coUnion Identifies Farmworkers as Victims in Deadly Oregon Highway Crashntrol and smashed through a railing, sending nine tourists hurtling several hundred feet down an embankment to their deaths.
The bus was traveling with around 40 people when it crashed in a place called Deadman Pass close to Pendleton.
In 1988, another accident on I-5 near Albany claimed 7 lives and wounded 37 others. The catastrophic 23-car pileup claimed the lives of at least two infants.
When traveling south from Portland, you’ll find Albany about 70 miles (113 kilometers) between Salem and Eugene. The West Coast’s primary north-south interstate is the 5 (I-5).
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