The Oregon State Police say a 49-year-old woman was driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 when her Volkswagen Jetta smashed head-on into another vehicle.
Inside the other vehicle was a woman in the front passenger seat. She was killed in the car accident. In the back seat was a 7-year-old girl who was critically injured. She was taken to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland after initial treatment at a Salem hospital near where the accident took place.
The 37-year-old man driving the black BMW was injured and hospitalized in Salem.
An Oregon State Police spokesperson said the Jetta driver was believed to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
She was heading north in the southbound I-5 lanes when the violent collision took place around 2:50 in the morning.
A photo in the Statesman Journal newspaper showed the wreckage of the Volkswagen; a mangled, twisted heap of metal, glass and plastic unrecognizable as a car. A photo of the BMW showed a vehicle similarly demolished.
It appears miraculous that anyone survived the devastation.
But the allegedly drunken driver survived and law enforcement officials have charged her with DUI and manslaughter to hold her accountable.
In some similar situations, the family that lost a loved one will file a wrongful death claim to hold the negligent driver financially accountable for their pain and loss. That process begins with a conversation with an attorney experienced in helping grieving families pursue justice.