An Ashland woman on her way home from her shift as a 911 dispatcher died when a Grants Pass man driving the wrong way on I-5 slammed into her car, ejecting her from the vehicle, Oregon State Police reported.
Updated 11:44 a.m.
All traffic lanes on southbound I-5 have been reopened following this morning's fatal traffic crash and investigation, the Oregon Department of Transportation reported.
ODOT officials said to expect traffic congestion as the scene clears.
Updated 10:35 a.m.
An Ashland woman on her way home from her shift as a 911 dispatcher died when a Grants Pass man driving the wrong way on I-5 hit her head on, ejecting her from the vehicle, Oregon State Police reported.
Karen Lee Greenstein, 58, was driving her 2006 Honda Civic just after 3 a.m. today near milepost 24. A 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan, driven by 32-year-old Richard Webster Scott, was northbound in the right, southbound lane and struck her vehicle head on.
Greenstein was pronounced dead at the scene. She was an employee of Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon for more than 20 years, police reported.
Scott was extricated and taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. His condition was not immediately available.
OSP said the case remains under investigation and asks any witnesses who saw the van prior to the crash to call the Southern Command Center dispatch at 541-776-6111.
Officials said a vehicle matching the van's description was seen sideways on the southbound off ramp at exit 21, about three miles south of the scene.
Alcohol was likely a factor, police said of Scott. The southbound lanes of I-5 remain closed while an accident reconstruction teams investigates the crash. OSP anticipates the lanes will remain closed until about noon.
Updated 9:15 a.m.
Oregon State Police say alcohol impaired a male driver who drove the wrong way on I-5 this morning, causing a head-on collision that killed a woman near milepost 25.
"We're looking at alcohol as a contributing factor," said Lt. Gregg Hastings of OSP. "This is considered a criminal investigation at this point."
The names of the woman who died and the driver who hit her have not been released.
Updated 8:50 a.m.
A head-on collision between a van driving north in Interstate 5's southbound lanes and a car heading south killed a woman and put the wrong-way driver in the hospital with serious injuries to the head and legs, Jackson County Fire District No. 5 officials said.
The woman driver was ejected from her vehicle even though she was wearing a seatbelt. She was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. The male driver of the van was transported to a local hospital.
Names, ages and other details about the crash are still not available. We will continue to update this story as information becomes available.
A driver heading north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 this morning caused a car crash that killed one near milepost 25, Oregon State Police reported.
Both southbound lanes of I-5 are closed. Southbound traffic is being diverted at exit 27 onto Highway 99. Motorists can get back on the interstate at exit 21 in Talent. Oregon Department of Transportation officials said to plan for delays and congestion.
"We expect the southbound lanes to be closed at least through the morning commute due to crash reconstruction," said ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming. "This'll be an extended closure."
OSP says the crash happened just after 3 a.m. near milepost 25. A driver was traveling north in the southbound lanes when he crashed into another car.
OSP, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Jackson County Fire District No. 5 and ODOT responded to the scene. The motorist driving the wrong way, whose name has not been released, was extricated from his vehicle and taken to a local hospital with unknown injuries.
A traffic crash reconstruction is underway at the accident site, necessitating the detour. OSP, sheriff's department officials, Medford police, ODOT and fire personnel remain on scene. Additional information, including name of the person killed in the crash, is not yet available.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.
— Ryan Pfeil