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Fatal Traffic Crash - Interstate 5 near Tualatin
09/12/2009
Sergeant Dan Swift
Oregon State Police - Portland
(503) 731-3020 ext. 267

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into an early Saturday morning fatal traffic crash that left one person dead northbound on Interstate 5 in the Tualatin area.  The victim’s name is withheld pending confirmation through the Washington County Medical Examiner’s Office utilizing dental records.
 
On September 12, 2009 at approximately 2:10 a.m. OSP troopers from the Tualatin and Portland offices responded with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) personnel to a reported two vehicle collision northbound Interstate 5 near the Lower Boones Ferry exit 290 interchange.  One of the involved vehicles caught on fire and it was extinguished by TVF&R personnel, after which it was confirmed the driver and sole occupant was deceased inside.
 
Preliminary investigation indicates a 1998 Western Star truck pulling a belly dump semi-trailer was operated by DAVID WATKINS, age 36, from Vancouver, Washington northbound near milepost 290 approaching the off ramp when it was struck from behind by a 2001 Saab driven by the victim.  After impact, the Saab overturned and caught fire.
 
WATKINS was not injured.
 
All Interstate 5 northbound lanes were closed for approximately one hour while rescue crews put out the fire. One lane was then opened while the OSP Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the crash. All northbound lanes were re-opened by 7:30 a.m.
 
OSP was assisted at the scene by TVF&R, Tualatin Police Department, ODOT and the Washington County Medical Examiner's office.  The driver of the Saab has been tentatively identified at this time and next of kin have been notified, however the name is being withheld pending identity confirmation through use of dental records.