In connection with charges stemming from a Thursday three-vehicle disaster on Interstate 5 north of Albany that claimed seven lives and injured four others, a 52-year-old California man made his first court appearance on Friday.
Lincoln Clayton Smith, according to the police, was traveling north on I-5 in a semi-pulling canvas-sided livestock trailer. The semi “left the roadway” on the right side at around 2:00 pm on Thursday near the Santiam Rest Area, according to authorities.
According to authorities, the semi Smith was operating slammed into a Ford passenger van carrying 11 people before smashing into another semi that was parked.
7 Migrant Farm Workers K!lled
Six passengers in the vehicle were pronounced de@d at the site, while a seventh passed away while being transported to the hospital by helicopter. Four other persons in the van were hurt and sent to the hospital in an ambulance. The victims were all migrant farm laborers, and the victims’ families testified in court.
The second semi’s driver was unharmed.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Family members of victims in deadly I-5 crash spoke at the first court appearance of the semi truck driver facing manslaughter charges.
— FOX 12 Oregon (@fox12oregon) May 20, 2023
Following a medical examination, Smith was arrested and sent to the Marion County Jail. According to the police, he is accused of DUI, dangerous driving, seven counts of second-degree manslaughter, three counts of third-degree assault, and seven instances of second-degree manslaughter.
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Prosecutors claimed Smith was found in possession of methamphetamines and confessed to taking speed the day before at his initial court appearance on Friday. He was reportedly incoherent at the scene, according to police.
According to the prosecution, Smith has a history of 17 arrests and 9 prior convictions. He was told to remain in custody without bond. His subsequent court date is set for May 30.
Police said detectives are still looking into the collision.
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