Two Camas residents were among three people injured in a head-on traffic crash in Oregon on Friday.
According to a press release from the Oregon State Police, at approximately 8:30 p.m. police responded to a report of a wrong-way vehicle heading eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near milepost 64 in Hood River. A short time later, a head on crash was reported involving that same vehicle at milepost 67.
According to Trooper Brent Ocheskey, the investigation revealed that a 2004 Buick four-door driven by Leonard L. Gilbert, 78, of White Salmon, was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes from Hood River. As his vehicle approached milepost 67 in the left westbound lane, a 2014 Ford Escape driven by Emily Smith, 28, of Spokane, swerved to the right to avoid the oncoming Buick. The Buick struck the left rear corner of the Ford Escape, and then collided head-on with a 1998 Toyota Camry with two occupants—Chelsea D. Ziegler, 21, and Samuel K. Lowe, 21, both of Camas.
Gilbert was transported by ambulance to Mid-Columbia Medical Center with serious, non-life threatening injuries, while Ziegler and Lowe were taken to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. Smith was not injured.
All vehicle occupants were wearing safety restraints at the time of the crash, which emergency responders credited with preventing more serious injuries.
Gilbert was cited at the hospital by OSP for driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person, assault in the third degree, and failure to perform the duties of a driver involved in a property damage accident.
OSP was assisted at the scene by Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, Hood River County Sheriff’s Office, Hood River Police Department, ODOT, Hood River Fire & EMS, and Skyline EMS.