Truck Driver Arrested in Oregon Freeway Crash That Claims 7 Lives in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

According to the police, a tragic accident occurred on Interstate 5 in western Oregon involving a semitruck and a passenger van, resulting in the loss of seven lives, making it one of the state’s deadliest crashes in recent years. The driver of the semitruck was arrested on Friday on charges of manslaughter, DUI, and other offenses.

Authorities have confirmed that eleven individuals were inside the van at the time of the collision. Sadly, six people died at the scene, while one more passed away after being airlifted to a hospital. Four individuals sustained injuries, as reported by the Oregon State Police.

The arrested individual, identified as Lincoln Clayton Smith, a 52-year-old from North Highlands, California, is currently in custody at Marion County Jail. It is unclear whether he has legal representation, as he has not yet made a court appearance.

The crash involved two semitrucks and the van, taking place on a Thursday afternoon near Albany, located in the agricultural area of the Willamette Valley. According to the police, the semitruck veered off the northbound lanes of I-5 and collided with the van, which was parked on the roadside. The impact caused the van to be pushed into the back of another truck positioned in front of it.

The northbound lanes of I-5 were temporarily closed for investigation but were reopened later that Thursday night, according to state transportation officials. The aftermath of the crash was grim, with covered bodies observed in a nearby field and emergency responders placing a blue tarp on the wrecked van while setting up a barrier to restrict access to the scene.

A witness described the van as severely damaged, indicating that it appeared to be “sandwiched” by the force of the impact. The Life Flight Network, an emergency medical helicopter service, confirmed that one patient was transported to a hospital in the Salem area.

This tragic incident adds to a series of deadly accidents in Oregon in recent years, including a head-on collision in Harney County in 2018 that claimed the lives of seven individuals, and a tour bus crash near Pendleton in 2012 that resulted in the deaths of nine people.

Albany, situated between Salem and Eugene, lies approximately 70 miles south of Portland. Interstate 5 serves as the primary north-south interstate highway along the West Coast.