Memorial Day weekend: Deaths fall, DUIIs rise


by Cornelius Swart, Staff

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 27 at 2:19 PM

PORTLAND – This Memorial Day weekend, there were two road fatalities and a significant rise in DUII arrests, according to initial state statistics.

On Friday, a 35-year old man was fatally struck by a car on Highway 217 in Beaverton after he jumped in front of traffic, police said. On Saturday, an 80-year old man was hit and killed by a pickup truck while he crossed River Road in Eugene, according to state police.

The Memorial Day Weekend usually averages about six road fatalities each year, with seven deaths last year, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

There have only been four times since 1970 when Memorial Day weekend traffic fatalities were as low as in 2014, said Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police.

However, arrests for driving under the influences of intoxicants were up, Hastings said.

State police broke down the initial statistics this way:

• Eleven drivers faced DUIIs and other charges related to their involvement in traffic crashes, five of which were injury crashes

• Ten of the drivers arrested were driving under the influence of drugs

• Citizen driving complaints directly helped troopers find and arrest 11 drivers for DUII

State police reported 59 DUII arrests this year compared with 48 last year.