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Salem Man Dies Two-Car Crash

Salem Man Dies in Two-Car Crash on Highway 22 Near Cordon Road

An 80-year-old man from Salem died Dec. 10th, 2018  when his vehicle was rear-ended at high speed on Highway 22 near Cordon Road. According to the Oregon State Police, the crash occurred at approximately 9 AM.

Police investigators stated that a blue 1975 Volkswagen Beetle, driven by Eugene Mason, 80, was going eastbound on the highway when it was rear-ended by a Kenworth tractor-trailer. The big rig was driven by Gordon Wright, 55, from Gresham.

Mason’s car veered off the road and rolled. He was pronounced dead at the crash scene. Police said heavy fog was a major factor in the deadly crash. The Oregon State Police was helped by the Salem Police Department, Keizer Police Department, Salem Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Our View

As Oregon personal injury attorneys, our hearts go out to the family of the lost in this tragic rear end, tractor-trailer crash. Unfortunately, according to the latest Large Truck and Bush Crash report from the Department of Transportation, almost 25% of fatal wrecks that involve tractor-trailers happen by the rig slamming into a smaller vehicle from the rear.

Truck accident deaths currently account for at least 10% of deaths on America’s roads. Most of these deadly crashes could have been prevented. Most of the deceased are people who were driving regular passenger cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and motorcycles.

In many of these cases, the truck driver is at fault for a variety of reasons. Statistics show that driver distraction, poor weather and fatigue are leading reasons of rear-end truck crashes.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Causation Study cited driver error as the critical cause of more than 88% of all big rig crashes in 2014. From 2015 to 2016, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks rose by 6%.

Legal Options After a Fatal Tractor-Trailer Crash

After the loss of a loved one in a truck crash, you certainly must feel devastated both emotionally and financially. But in the state of Oregon, while your loved one can never be replaced, Oregon Revised Statutes section 30.020 allows certain family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death under the law is defined as a reckless, negligent or intentional act that led to your loved one’s death.

Who Can File Oregon Wrongful Death Claim?

Another party obviously must file the action as the person is deceased. Usually, a family member files the wrongful death claim in an Oregon district court. Normally, the family member who files is the surviving spouse, child or parent. But others can file as well, including surviving grandparents, stepchildren or step-parents.

Damages You May Be Entitled To

Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in Oregon are intended to compensate the estate and family members for losses related to the death of the person. These include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical and hospital costs related to care after the injury
  • Lost wages and benefits, which include value of compensation the person would have earned in future years if they had lived
  • Pain and suffering compensation the deceased suffered before death
  • Lose of companionship, comfort, care, and guidance for the family

Note that you have three years to file a wrongful death claim in Oregon from the date of the accident.


If you have lost a loved one in a tractor-trailer crash, or another type of accident where another party was negligent, you could be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, Please, contact us at Herron Law, www.PortlandInjuryFirm.com, (503) 699 6496. We are here to help you. The consultation is free.

Read More: About Wrongful Death Cases in Oregon

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