Alcohol a factor in crash caused by driver headed wrong way

Tualatin Police and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue assisted Oregon State Police officers after a Portland man drove southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 and caused a collision near Tualatin on Saturday.

The driver, identified as 35-year-old Derek S. Thiem, was later charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person, assault in the fourth degree, criminal mischief in the second degree and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Thiem was reportedly driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 at around 7:20 p.m., and caused a traffic crash a few minutes later near an Interstate 205 off-ramp. Thiem reportedly crashed his 2002 Ford sedan into a 2003 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle driven by Aurelia Conde Varela, 31. Neither Varela nor the four passengers in her vehicle were reportedly injured.

Thiem was taken by ambulance to the hospital at Oregon Health & Sciences University for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

One lane of the Interstate-205 off-ramp was closed for one hour.

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