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Authorities say driver fatigue caused Highway 26 car accident

Seven people were injured on a recent Saturday in a multi-car accident that happened close to David Douglas County Park on Highway 26. Authorities suspect that fatigue may have played a role in the collision.

According to the Oregon State Police, one of the drivers in the crash had difficulty speaking English, which made it difficult for them to obtain all the details pertaining to the collision. However, according to one witness, one of the cars was heading eastbound on Highway 26, when it crossed into opposing traffic and triggered the accident.

Some of the injured people were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and some were transported to Oregon Health & Science University hospital. One of the victims was flown by helicopter to the hospital. The good news is that none of the injuries were reported to be fatal and everyone is expected to survive.

Highway 26 was completely shut down for approximately 20 minutes when a LifeFlight chopper touched down to pick up one of the victims. Two lanes of traffic were also subject to closure for approximately two hours while authorities completed their cleanup and investigations.

At this time, authorities believe that driver fatigue may be to blame for this crash. When driver fatigue is referenced as a causative factor in Oregon car accidents, it usually means that a driver fell asleep behind the wheel. Although this is never anyone's intention, and it does happen by accident from time to time, drivers can be prosecuted and held accountable for negligence relating to falling asleep behind the wheel. Indeed, it is everyone's responsibility to avoid driving when they are not in a healthy condition to operate their motor vehicles safely.

Source: katu.com, "Fatigue factor in Highway 26 crash injuring 7," June 06, 2015

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