December 26, 2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Preliminary information based upon reports to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 3 people died in three separate fatal traffic crashes on Oregon roads during the 102-hour Christmas holiday reporting period. The reporting period began 6:00 p.m., December 21, and ended 11:59 p.m., December 25, 2012.
The following is a brief review of the reported fatal traffic crashes during the Christmas holiday period:
* On December 21, 2012 at approximately 10:30 p.m., a 21-year old Newberg man died and three others were injured in a two-vehicle head-on crash on Highway 99E south of Woodburn. Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency.
* On December 23, 2012 at approximately 2:30 p.m., a 20-year old West Linn man died when the car he was a passenger in lost control on snow/ice covered Highway 35 north of Highway 26 and collided with another vehicle. Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency.
* On December 24, 2012 at approximately 4:17 p.m., a 44-year old Portland man died when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with another vehicle at SE 11th Avenue and SE Sherman Street in Portland. Portland Police Bureau is the lead investigating agency.
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers reported 53 DUII arrests, nearly twice as many as reported during the 2011 Christmas holiday period when troopers reported 28 DUII arrests. OSP offices reporting 3 or more DUII arrests during this year's Christmas holiday reporting period were:
* Portland Area Command office - 10 DUII arrests
* Springfield Area Command office - 8 DUII arrests
* Central Point Area Command office - 4 DUII arrests
* Salem Area Command office - 4 DUII arrests
* Albany Area Command office - 4 DUII arrests
* Grants Pass work site - 3 DUII arrests
OSP, sheriff's departments and city police agencies in Oregon and around the nation will continue stepped up DUII enforcement as part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign through January 1, 2013.
The holiday season is a particularly dangerous time. Nationally during December 2010, 30 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involved alcohol-impaired drivers. Data also shows that among those alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, 71 percent occurred when drivers had nearly twice the legal limit (.08) blood alcohol concentration.
OSP, Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, and ODOT offer these simple but important safety tips:
* Plan ahead. If you are planning to drink, plan ahead: volunteer to be a designated driver, designate a sober driver or arrange for a taxi to pick you up at a set time.
* Be responsible. If you are hosting a party, offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and help your guests be responsible. Don't let someone who has been drinking get behind the wheel.
* Walking or bicycling after dark? Wear bright clothes to help you stand out.
* Buckle up, every trip, every time.
* Drive defensively at all times.
Report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 or OSP at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865). The following are two examples of how citizen involvement helps police find and remove impaired drivers from the road before they might be involved in a traffic crash:
* On December 24 at approximately 9:51 p.m., multiple driving complaints were reported regarding a commercial truck operating northbound on Interstate 205. OSP troopers located and stopped the truck northbound near Clackamas. Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of DANIEL P. LEIGHTON, age 49, from Oregon City, for DUII-Drugs and Reckless Driving. Clackamas County Sheriff's Office assisted during the investigation.
* On December 25 at approximately 11:14 a.m., multiple driving complaints were reported regarding a passenger car southbound on Interstate 205 near Stafford Road. OSP troopers found the car southbound on Interstate 5 near Wilsonville and upon contact noted a small child was a passenger. Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of JUSTIN T. THOMPSON, age 31, from Portland, for DUII-Drugs and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. The child was released to a relative.
OSP and ODOT also urge travelers to "Know Before You Go", monitoring media reports for weather forecasts and keeping up-to-date on road conditions at www.TripCheck.com. In addition to road and weather conditions, winter driving safety information and tips are also there to help keep you informed and safe on our roads.