October 2, 2013
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
A Grants Pass man is facing several charges following a Wednesday morning wrong way driver-involved non-injury crash on Interstate 5 about four miles north of Grants Pass.
On October 2, 2013 at approximately 5:41 a.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) Southern Command Center dispatch received a report that a wrong way driver in a 1990 Ford Econoline van traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near milepost 63 was involved in a traffic crash. After the collision, the Ford van didn’t stop at the scene and turned around, continuing northbound on Interstate 5.
At approximately 6:00 a.m., an OSP trooper working construction work zone enforcement overtime north of the scene and saw the van near milepost 71. The driver failed to yield to the trooper for about six miles before stopping near milepost 77. After exiting the van, the driver was refusing the trooper’s verbal commands and briefly resisted arrest before being taken into custody.
Investigation related to the wrong way traffic crash indicated the Ford van was southbound in the northbound lanes when it sideswiped a Toyota Camry traveling in the left northbound lane next to a commercial truck that was in the right lane. The Toyota’s female driver unsuccessfully tried to avoid the oncoming van by steering to the right next to a commercial truck whose driver was flashing the truck’s headlights in an attempt to get the attention of the van’s driver. The Toyota’s driver, whose name is not available, was not injured.
The van’s driver, SERGEY ZHURA, age 49, from Grants Pass, was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for a medical and mental evaluation. There is no evidence alcohol was a contributing factor. ZHURA was cited by OSP on the following charges:
* Reckless Driving
* Recklessly Endangering Another Person
* Fail to Perform the Duties of a Driver Involved in a Traffic Crash
* Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree
* Resisting Arrest
Wrong way drivers present an obvious danger to all motorists on our highways. The most recent available crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates wrong way drivers are involved in 1.5% of all fatal crashes nationally.
Wrong way drivers usually drive in the inside lane or inside shoulder, believing they are actually on a two-lane highway. Most common types of wrong way driver involved crashes are head-on or sideswipe crashes.
The following information and safety tips are offered related to wrong way drivers.
Who is the wrong way driver?
* Intoxicated driver
* Older drivers who easily get confused
* Intentional drivers (example - trying to avoid traffic jams / congestion caused by crashes)
* Inattentive drivers who mistake an off ramp for an on ramp
* Watch far ahead for signs of a possible wrong way driver, looking for signs similar to pending problems or developing emergency situations such as other traffic braking or swerving to avoid something, or the obvious - headlights coming in the opposite direction.
* Caution against driving long periods in the inside lane on freeways, especially on curves.
No photographs available for this release.
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