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June 3, 2014
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Update: 51-year-old woman dies in fatal I-5 crash near Sutherlin

SUTHERLIN — A 51-year old Roseburg woman died Tuesday after running onto Interstate 5 and colliding with the back of a truck, according to Oregon State Police.

OSP Sgt. Matt Bowersox said a Laura Lee James, 51, was struck by a commercial truck driven by Beant Singh, 36, of Yuba City, California, at about 4:05 p.m. Singh was traveling south in the right lane at the Milepost 136 interchange when James ran from the right shoulder to the center median, Bowersox said. She was struck by the trailer’s rear wheels.

Singh veered to the left lane to avoid hitting her before coming to a controlled stop.

James was pronounced dead at the scene. Nothing is known about why she was attempting to cross the interstate, Bowersox said.

“You can speculate all you want, but all we can say with accuracy is that she ran out into the roadway and got hit,” he said.

Singh, a driver for Northwest Freight, was hauling a load of crushed glass. He voluntarily provided investigators with a blood sample, Bowersox said.

“Nothing was in his system,” he said.

The southbound lanes were closed and traffic diverted through detours for several hours. Drivers were delayed through the Sutherlin area until all lanes were opened about 8 p.m.

OSP troopers and an OSP collision reconstructionist from the Roseburg Area Command office were assisted at the scene by Sutherlin Police Department, Douglas County Fire District No. 2 and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The version of the story that was posted Tuesday evening is below:

Oregon State Police is continuing the investigation into Tuesday afternoon’s fatal pedestrian-involved crash that resulted in the death of a 51-year old woman in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in Sutherlin. The names of the victim and driver will be released Wednesday.

According to Sgt. Matt Bowersox, on June 3, at approximately 4:05 p.m., a commercial truck pulling a semi-trailer driven by an adult male was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 in the right lane approaching the south end of the Milepost 136 interchange when a female pedestrian began to run from the right shoulder toward the center median. The truck driver veered from the right lane toward the left lane when the pedestrian was struck by the trailer’s rear wheels.

The truck driver brought the truck and trailer to a controlled stop. The trailer contained a load of crushed glass.

The female pedestrian was pronounced deceased at the scene.

OSP troopers and an OSP collision reconstructionist from the Roseburg Area Command office are continuing the investigation.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Sutherlin Police Department, Sutherlin Fire Department, and ODOT. The southbound lanes were closed with detours in place for all vehicles. Travelers experienced delays coming through the Sutherlin area. All lanes were opened about 8 p.m.

The original story appears below:

A fatal crash involving a pedestrian has occurred on Interstate 5 at Milepost 136 near Sutherlin, according to Oregon State Police.

The southbound lanes are blocked. A detour is in place but traffic delays are expected.

The accident was first reported at 4:37 p.m.; an update at 5 p.m. indicated the lanes would remain closed for accident reconstruction. Vehicles are being detoured into Sutherlin and returned to Interstate 5 at Exit 135.

The northbound lanes are open.

For traffic updates, see tripcheck.com.

Watch this site for updates and look for a full story in Wednesday’s News-Review


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The News-Review Updated Jun 5, 2014 06:10PM Published Jun 25, 2014 11:30AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.