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Sutherlin Man Arrested Following Serious Injury Traffic Crash on Interstate 5
Lieutenant Douglas Ladd
Oregon State Police - Roseburg
(541) 440-3366

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Douglas County Sheriff's Office
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Tuesday afternoon's serious injury traffic crash on Interstate 5 south of Sutherlin that caused serious injury to a male passenger of a vehicle when it sideswiped a commercial truck. The car's driver was arrested on numerous charges related to the initial OSP investigation.
On August 23, 2011 at approximately 3:48 p.m. a 1991 Toyota Camry driven by RICHARD D. THACKER, age 35, from Sutherlin, was northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 134 in the left lane passing a 2009 Freightliner truck traveling in the right lane when THACKER lost control and sideswiped the truck. A passenger in the Toyota identified as RYAN P. SMITH, age 33, from Sutherlin, had his arm out the window and it was severed when the car sideswiped the truck.
SMITH was initially treated at the scene by an off-duty nurse before being transported by air ambulance to Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland for treatment of the serious injury.
THACKER was not injured. Subsequent investigation led to his arrest and lodging at the Douglas County Jail on the following charges:
  • Assault in the Second Degree
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person (2 counts)
  • DUII
  • Reckless Driving
  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Driving While Suspended
  • Probation Violation
The truck's driver, PAUL FLATEN, age 60, from Benson, Minnesota, was not injured.
Both vehicles received minor damage.
OSP troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office are continuing the investigation with the assistance of the Douglas County District Attorney's Office.