SALEM A Wheatland ferry operator admitted to sheriff s deputies that he d been drinking alcohol just before starting his shift Saturday. He failed a field sobriety test and was taken into custody, sheriffs said.

Brian Trussell, 57, of Salem also had liquor in his lunchbox during his shift operating the ferry that crosses the Willamette River from Marion County to Yamhill County, Don Thomson with the Marion County Sheriff s Department said.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., a citizen called 911 after he noticed the smell of alcohol on the ferry operator when he and his family crossed the river. He also said that Trussell tried to collect the fare twice, forgetting that he d already collected it.

Trussell was taken to the Marion County Jail and charged with boating under the influence and reckless endangerment.

The ferry was closed for an hour Saturday until another operator could take over.

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