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March 8, 2013
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Eugene man charged in I-5 wrong-way death of Oakland resident

A Eugene man who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 when he collided with another vehicle, killing an Oakland man, was arrested Thursday on a manslaughter charge.

Joshua James Davis, who turned 27 today, was taken into custody by Oregon State Police one day after a Douglas County grand jury indicted him for first-degree manslaughter, driving under the influence and recklessly endangering another person.

He was booked into the Douglas County Jail, where he was in custody today in lieu of $391,250 bail. He was scheduled to be arraigned in the afternoon.

“The investigation is continuing, but we had enough to take this to the grand jury,” Deputy District Attorney Colin Benson said.

Davis is accused of causing the accident that killed 44-year-old Victor Anderson early Sunday morning about four miles north of Canyonville.

Davis is alleged to have been intoxicated when he was driving his GMC Yukon north in the southbound lanes and hit Anderson’s Kia sedan near Milepost 102 at a long curve.

At the time, Anderson was heading to the Swanson Group’s mill in Glendale, where he worked as a millwright.

Davis broke his heel in the accident. Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anderson was a lifelong Oakland resident who was related to prominent logging families, the Whitakers and Fugates, and felt at home working in the timber industry, his widow, Michelle, said Thursday.

He was the world’s biggest San Francisco 49ers fan and loved the outdoors, she said.

She said she met Anderson when she was a freshman and he was an upperclassman at Oakland High School. The couple didn’t get together until more than 10 years later. At the time of his death, they had been together for about 11 years.

Anderson treated as his own her teenage daughters from a previous relationship and was the only father they ever knew, she said.

For their first anniversary, they took a trip on the Columbia River aboard the Portland Spirit sternwheeler. Anderson called ahead to the boat’s staff and said he was the Anderson family’s butler and wanted to make sure everything was in order for the couple’s stay, she said. She said it wasn’t a coincidence that they were treated like royalty. “It was the best anniversary ever.”

Michelle Anderson said the man who regularly surprised her with carnations and cards had a hard exterior but was a true romantic underneath and the love of her life.

“I always hated being away from him,” she said.

• You can reach reporter Garrett Andrews at 541-957-4218 or by email at gandrews@nrtoday.com.

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The News-Review Updated Jan 2, 2015 05:05PM Published Apr 12, 2013 01:41PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.