Camas residents escape serious injury when struck by wrong-way driver

By Mark Bowder, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor



Two Camas residents escaped serious injury Friday night when their car was struck head-on by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge.

A bulletin from the Oregon State Police said that Chelsea D. Ziegler, 21, and Samuel K. Lowe, 21, suffered minor injuries in a three-car crash in the westbound lanes of I-84 between Mosier and Hood River, Ore.

The OSP said the crash occurred about 8:30 p.m. Friday when a 2004 Buick sedan driven east in the westbound lanes by Leonard Gilbert, 78, of White Salmon struck the left rear corner of a 2014 Ford Escape driven by Emily Smith, 28, of Spokane and then crashed head-on into a 1998 Camry driven by Ziegler.

Gilbert had been driving into oncoming traffic from the Hood River area, the OSP said. He suffered serious, but not life-threatening injuries, and was transported to Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Ore.

Gilbert was cited at the hospital with charges including driving under the influence, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person and third-degree assault.

Ziegler and Lowe were transported to Providence Hood River Medical Center. Smith was not injured.

All four people involved in the crash were wearing safety restraints, preventing more serious injury, the OSP bulletin said.