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Double Fatal Traffic Crash - Interstate 5 south of Roseburg
05/04/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Two women were killed, including one who was 8 months pregnant, and a man was critically injured early Sunday morning in a two vehicle head-on crash involving a wrong way driver in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 about 3 miles south of Roseburg. Next of kin notifications have been completed but no further information is available for release.
 
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Senior Trooper Mark Moore, on May 4, 2008 at approximately 3:17 a.m. a two vehicle head-on crash was reported on Interstate 5 near milepost 118 in Douglas County. Preliminary investigation indicates a witness saw a white 2002 Pontiac Grand Am displaying Oregon license plates with one occupant enter Interstate 5 northbound in the southbound lanes near milepost 113. At 3:14 a.m. a report was received of this wrong way driver by Douglas County 9-1-1 center. A Roseburg police officer was dispatched to set up on the freeway in their city and a Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputy was deployed southbound on Interstate 5.
 
As the wrong way vehicle was continuing northbound it struck a southbound silver 2008 Hyundai Elantra displaying Washington license plates containing two occupants head-on in the left southbound lane. The Hyundai attempted to avoid the oncoming Pontiac by swerving to the left but the right front passenger side of the Hyundai was struck by the Pontiac's driver side.
 
No OSP Roseburg Area Command personnel were on duty at the time of the crash in the area so they were called out to respond and investigate the crash. A Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputy was the first police officer to arrive. Medical and fire personnel from Roseburg Fire District #2 responded to the scene. Myrtle Creek Police Department and ODOT also responded to assist
 
The Pontiac's driver, CHERYL DENISE ROWE, age 40, from Albany, Oregon, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
 
The Hyundai's driver, ANDREW CRUZ CAJITA, age 21, from San Mateo, California, was critically injured and initially transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg. He was then taken by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland and remains in critical condition this afternoon.
 
The Hyundai's passenger, CHANTHEA ELIZABETH PRAK, age 20, was eight months pregnant and was also pronounced deceased at the scene. PRAK is reportedly from Fresno, California, and currently in the US Army where she was assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington.
 
OSP troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office are continuing the investigation to determine the cause and factors involved in the crash. Anyone with information is asked to contact Senior Trooper Moore at (541) 440-3334 ext. 4725.
 
Southbound lanes of Interstate 5 were closed about four hours and a detour was established by ODOT around the area.