Man dies in head-on crash with wrong way driver on I-5

CANYONVILLE, Ore. -- A man was killed in a head-on crash early Sunday morning after an SUV started driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 near Canyonville, State Police officials said.

The crash happened at I-5 milepost 102 (between Canyonville and Myrtle Creek) at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, officers said.

Police reported that Joshua Davis, 26 of Eugene, was driving his GMC Yukon north in the southbound lanes of I-5 when he hit a Kia Sedan head on.

Officials pronounced the driver of the Kia, Victor Anderson, 44 of Oakland, dead at the scene.

Davis was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg where he is expected to survive. He was wearing a seat belt during the crash, police said.

Police are investigating whether Anderson was wearing a seat belt. Both vehicles' airbags deployed on impact.

There were no other passengers involved in the crash.

At the time of the crash there were no state police troopers on-duty, Oregon State Police officials said.

Police said first officer arrived at the scene from Myrtle Creek Police Department nearly ten minutes after the crash happened.

OSP took over the investigation and are working with the Douglas County District Attorney's office to reconstruct the crash.

Officials said alcohol might have played a role in the crash.

If anyone was a witness to this incident or any driving leading up to the crash, or anyone has any information regarding this incident, they are asked to call Tpr. Brian Jewell at OSP-Roseburg 541-440-3334 x4320.

Police closed the road to southbound traffic for about an hour while they cleared one lane to traffic. Officials expect to have both lanes open by noon on Sunday.

Victor Anderson was an Oakland, Ore. native who owned his own construction company. He is survived by his wife, Michelle and their two daughters.

From Oregon State Police:

Wrong way drivers present an obvious danger to all motorists on our highways. The most recent available crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates wrong way drivers are involved in 1.5% of all fatal crashes nationally. Wrong way drivers usually drive in the inside lane or inside shoulder, believing they are actually on a two-lane highway. Most common types of wrong way driver involved crashes are head-on or sideswipe crashes.

The following information and safety tips are offered related to wrong way drivers.

Who is the wrong way driver?

* Intoxicated driver
* Older drivers who easily get confused
* Intentional drivers (example - trying to avoid traffic jams / congestion caused by crashes)
* Inattentive drivers who mistake an off ramp for an on ramp

Safety Tips:

* Watch far ahead for signs of a possible wrong way driver, looking for signs similar to pending problems or developing emergency situations such as other traffic braking or swerving to avoid something, or the obvious - headlights coming in the opposite direction.

* Caution against driving long periods in the inside lane on freeways, especially on curves.