Police are investigating a suspected fatal Oregon drunk driving car crash in the east of the state, according to a report by an Idaho TV station that covers the region. According to KIVI a 41-year old man from Vale, in the easternmost part of Oregon, died last week in the crash on Highway 20, in rural Malheur County.
According to the TV station the victim “was headed eastbound on Highway 20 on September 15th when his vehicle crossed into the westbound lane and collided with a semi-trailer… according to police (the driver) was likely under the influence of intoxicants after a citizen report matching his vehicle was called into dispatch before the accident.”
There are several lessons we can take away from this tragedy. The first, and most obvious, is the unnecessary damage to so many lives that drunk driving causes. I’ve written on many previous occasions about the dangers that large semi-trucks pose on the roads of Eastern Oregon. In this case, however, a driver who was doing nothing wrong had his life, and potentially the lives of other drivers and passengers in the vicinity, put in danger by someone else’s irresponsible conduct.
Second, it is good to see Oregonians keeping an eye out for dangerous behavior. The fact that the reckless driving by the accident’s eventual victim was phoned in to police did not stop this particular tragedy, but it represents the sort of responsible conduct to which we should all aspire. When you see someone driving in an unsafe manner, someone who is quite possibly drunk, keeping that information to yourself does not help anyone – including the drunk driver him or herself.
As a Portland drunk driving victims attorney I spend far too much of my time helping innocent Oregonians and Washingtonians through the pain caused by someone else’s negligence. The simplest solutions are often the safest ones.
KIVI/Fox9.com: Fatal crash in Eastern Oregon, intoxicants likely a factor