Police: Wrong-way driver killed in 3-car crash on I-5


36th deadly crash in Portland this year

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man driving the wrong direction on Interstate 5 Tuesday was killed after sparking a three-car crash.

Police identified the wrong-way driver as Damian Asher Alexander of Vancouver, Washington. Alexander, 45, was driving southbound in a northbound lane of I-5 and crashed just north of Highway 99W just before 4 a.m.

Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene after first responders were unable to revive him.

One of the drivers involved was hospitalized but expected to live. The driver of the third car was not hurt, according to police.

Anyone with information about or who witnessed the crash is asked to contact Officer Chris Johnson at 503-823-2213.

This is the 33rd Major Crash Team activation and the 36th fatality investigated by the Traffic Division this year.

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A wrong-way driver was involved in a 3-car crash on northbound I-5, leaving one person dead, another injured and the highway closed at that spot for hours.

The wrong-way driver was reported around 3:45 a.m. and as police were responding, there was a report of a crash just north of Highway 99W, officials said. First responders found 3 vehicles involved.

One of the drivers died at the scene. Another driver was taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to live. The third driver wasn’t hurt.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed northbound I-5 at that location around 5:30 a.m., but re-opened it around 7:25 a.m.

ODOT spokesperson Don Hamilton said wrong-way crashes are rare but dangerous and often deadly.

“Wrong-way drivers often happen in the middle of the night are are always a real, real danger out on the highway,” Hamilton said. “If you’re on a highway, the safest thing you can do is pull over, get off the road as soon as you can, avoid that person. Chances are somebody coming at you the wrong way doesn’t know they’re on the wrong section of the road and you’re in great peril if you see a wrong-way driver on the freeway – especially on the freeway where the speeds are so high.”

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