Oregon police say they caught the driver of a semi-truck that hit a van and killed seven people and hurt four others. The driver is being charged with manslaughter and reckless driving, among other things.
After a crash on Interstate 5 near the Santiam Rest Area in Oregon on Thursday afternoon, 52-year-old Lincoln Clayton Smith of North Highlands, California, was taken into arrest.
Oregon State Police said in a news release that six people died at the scene and one person was taken to the hospital by Life Flight, where they were declared dead. Four others were taken to the hospital with different injuries.
The Oregon labor group Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, or PCUN, said that the people who died and were hurt were farmworkers who were going home after working in area farms. In a statement, the Mexican Consulate in Portland said that everyone is thought to be from Mexico.
PCUN Executive Director Reyna Lopez said in a statement, “Right now, families are asking for safer roads for workers going home after a hard day’s work.”
The tweet below verifies the news:
The driver of a semi truck who allegedly crashed into a van killing 7 people and injuring 4 others was arrested on several charges including manslaughter and reckless driving, police say. https://t.co/LJtjgQilsB
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 20, 2023
Smith was driving north on Interstate 5 when his truck went off the road onto the shoulder and hit a Ford Econoline van carrying 11 people. The van was pushed into another parked truck, which police say caused “extreme damage” to the van.
Police say that the van was full of the seven people who died and the four people who were hurt. Their names have not been made public.
Smith was not hurt, but police said he was taken to a hospital to be checked out. He was later caught and charged with seven counts of second-degree manslaughter, three counts of third-degree assault, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of drugs.
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The reason for the crash is being looked into.
Online records show that his next court date is May 30. There was no information about the attorney.
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