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Wrong way semi-truck driver causes commuting nightmare on freeways

Suspect in head-on crash arrested on allegations of drunken and reckless driving


A semi-truck driver drove the wrong way on Interstate 84 from east of Wood Village to the Glenn Jackson Bridge before causing a crash and a commuting nightmare early Monday, March 18.by: MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - Kenneth Eugene Burgess

Kenneth Eugene Burgess, 49, of Medical Lake, Wash., is being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center on allegations of driving under the influence of intoxicants, second-degree criminal mischief and reckless driving.

The driver of the car that Burgess crashed into — Katherine Mary Emerson, 24, of Vancouver, Wash., — was treated for non life-threatening injuries and released from a Southwest Washington hospital later in the morning, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police spokesman.

According to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, deputies began receiving reports of a tractor-trailer driving west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 east of Wood Village at 4:20 a.m.

Deputies began pursuing the truck, which continued to the I-205 bridge northbound in the southbound lanes. On the north side of the bridge, almost at the border with Washington, the truck crashed into a southbound vehicle and stopped at 4:30 a.m.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was treated at the scene. Due to the possibility of alcohol being involved, police detained him and later arrested him.

One Portland Police car also was damaged by crash debris and had to be towed from the scene.

The head-on crash snarled southbound traffic across the I-205 bridge for nearly six hours. Only one lane of southbound traffic was open during the early morning commute as police investigated the accident.

Many motorists used Interstate 5 and other arterials as alternate routes, clogging them with additional traffic.

The truck and trailer were towed, and the freeway finally opened to all lanes of traffic by 10:15 a.m. Portland police are continuing to investigate the crash.




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