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Wrong way driver runs commuters off Interstate 5

Oregon State Police said the vehicle used an emergency turn around and began driving northbound.

Posted: Jun 9, 2021 9:51 PM
Updated: Jun 10, 2021 7:41 AM

SAGINAW, Ore. -- A wrong-way driver forced dozens of cars off Interstate 5 during the evening commute Wednesday.

Oregon State Police said the vehicle used an emergency turn around and began driving northbound.

The driver was followed by an ODOT employee into Eugene, where law enforcement contacted the 94-year-old driver. No signs of impairment were noted. The family was contacted, and they said the driver is beginning to suffer from dementia and is easily confused.

The vehicle was secured on scene. 

South Lane Fire and Rescue responded to multiple cars off the freeway near the Saginaw exit around 4:30 p.m. An official with the department said a car was driving north in the southbound lanes. No one was injured but a handful of cars were damaged.

Robert Sands said he was going to change lanes when he saw the car heading straight at him. He swerved off the road, avoiding the oncoming car. His tires blew out and the vehicle had to be towed off of the freeway. 

The driver will be put in for a DMV retest.

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