Semi truck driver charged in Oregon crash that killed 7 and injured 4

The driver of a semi truck who allegedly crashed into a van killing seven people and injuring four others was arrested on several charges including manslaughter and reckless driving, Oregon police said.

Lincoln Clayton Smith, 52, of North Highlands, California, was taken into custody following a crash Thursday afternoon on Interstate 5, near the Santiam Rest Area, in Oregon.

Six people died at the scene and one person was transported by Life Flight to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead, Oregon State Police said in a news release. Four others were hospitalized with various injuries.

The Oregon labor group Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos del Noroest, or PCUN, described the deceased and injured as farmworkers who were headed home after working area fields. The Mexican Consulate in Portland said in a statement all are believed to be from Mexico.

“At this time, families are asking for safer roads for workers commuting after a hard day’s work,” PCUN Executive Director Reyna Lopez said in a statement.

Smith was traveling northbound on Interstate 5 when the truck left the roadway on the shoulder and struck a Ford Econoline passenger van with 11 people inside, police said. The van was pushed into another parked truck, causing “extreme damage” to the van, according to authorities.

The seven people killed and four others injured were in the van, police said. Their identities have not been released.

Smith was not injured but was transported for medical evaluation, authorities said. He was later arrested and charged with seven counts of second-degree manslaughter, three counts of third-degree assault, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of intoxicants.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

His next court date is May 30, online records show. Attorney information was not available.

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