The driver of a semi-truck that crashed into a passenger van on Interstate 5 in western Oregon, killing seven people in one of the state’s deadliest crashes in years, was arrested Friday on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery and other charges. the police said.

According to the authorities, 11 people were in the van at the time of the collision. Six people died at the scene, another died after being airlifted to a hospital and four others were injured, according to Oregon State Police.

State police said the victims’ names will not be released until their families have been notified. Authorities have not released information on the condition of the four injured passengers.

Lincoln Clayton Smith, 52, of North Highland, Calif., was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, reckless driving, involuntary manslaughter and assault, police said.

Smith was arraigned this afternoon and was being held without bail in the Marion County Jail. It remained unclear whether his case was assigned to the state prosecutor’s office or to a specific attorney. The office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a lawyer named in court documents said she had not been formally assigned the case and could not comment.

During the arraignment, the district attorney said Smith refused a field sobriety test and was unable to concentrate and answer basic questions. Statesman’s Journal of Salem reported. The prosecutor also said Smith admitted to “speeding” the day before the crash and had methamphetamine in his possession, the newspaper reported.

The husband of one of the dead passengers said their 1-year-old son asked his mother on Friday.

“My future is ruined,” he was quoted as saying through an interpreter by the Statesman Journal, which published a photo of the victims’ relatives and friends outside the Marion County Courthouse after the arraignment.

Two semi-trucks and a van were involved in a crash Thursday afternoon near Albany, in an agricultural area in the Willamette Valley.

According to police, the truck driven by the suspect left the northbound lanes of I-5 and struck a van parked on the side of the road. The van then rear-ended another truck in front of it.

Witnesses said the first truck was traveling down the road and veered off the road and hit the van without braking first, according to comments from the DA, as reported by the Statesman Journal.

The northbound lanes of I-5 were closed for several hours while investigators investigated, but reopened Thursday evening, state transportation officials said.

Bodies were seen covered in plastic in a nearby field after the accident The Albany Democrat-Herald reports. Police and fire officials covered the wrecked van with a blue tarp and placed a barrier near one of the trucks to block the view of the scene, the newspaper reported.

Life Flight Network confirmed that one of its EMS helicopters transported one patient to a Salem-area hospital.

Witness Adrian Gonzalez said State journal The van was crippled by the force of the impact.

“Judging by the damage, it looked like the van had been crushed,” he said. “It was hit very hard.”

The crash is one of Oregon’s deadliest in recent years.

A head-on collision A family of seven, including five young children, died on a remote road in eastern Oregon’s Harney County in August 2018. A total of eight people died.

In December 2012 nine people died after a tour bus overturned on icy Interstate 84 and struck a guardrail, plunging several hundred feet down a steep embankment. The bus was carrying about 40 people when it crashed in an area of ​​Pendleton called Deadman Pass.

Another crash in 1988, also near Albany on I-5, killed 7 people and injured 37 others. Two babies were among those killed in the 23-car pileup.

Albany is located between Salem and Eugene and is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Portland. I-5 is a major north-south interstate highway on the West Coast.

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