Medford man faces DUII and assault charges after crash on I-5

April 28, 2009: 10 a.m. — A Medford-area man was cited on multiple offenses by Oregon State Police following an early Tuesday morning injury crash involving a wrong way driver on Interstate 5 near Central Point.

On April 28, 2009 at approximately 2:45 a.m. a 2008 Toyota Solara driven by MICHAEL L. SMITH, age 56, from Medford, was southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near milepost 33 when it crashed nearly head-on with another vehicle.

The driver of the northbound vehicle, ANGELA SHAVLOVSKY, age 50, from Sacramento, California, was not injured. Passenger SOFIA SHAVLOVSKY, age 17, from Sacramento, was transported to Providence Medford Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Troopers responding to the incident subsequently arrested SMITH for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, and Assault in the Third Degree. SMITH refused medical treatment at the scene but was later transported to Rogue Valley Medical Center for an examination. Troopers cited SMITH at the hospital to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court on the mentioned charges.

Safety restraint use information is not available.

The northbound lanes were closed about one hour before re-opening. ODOT handled traffic control at the scene.

OSP troopers from the Central Point Area Command office are completing the investigation. Central Point Police Department and Jackson County Fire District #3 assisted at the scene.

Wrong way drivers

Wrong way drivers present an obvious danger to all motorists. The most recent available crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates wrong way drivers are involved in 1.5 percent of all fatal crashes nationally.

Wrong way drivers usually drive in the inside lane or inside shoulder, believing they are actually on a two-lane highway. Most common types of wrong way driver involved crashes are head-on or sideswipe crashes.

Who is the wrong way driver?

* Intoxicated driver

* Older drivers who easily get confused

* Intentional drivers (example — trying to avoid traffic jams / congestion caused by crashes)

* Inattentive drivers who mistake an off-ramp for an on-ramp

Safety Tips:

* Watch far ahead for signs of a possible wrong way driver, looking for signs similar to pending problems or developing emergency situations such as other traffic braking or swerving to avoid something, or the obvious - headlights coming in the opposite direction.

* Caution against driving long periods in the inside lane on freeways, especially on curves.

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