The seven people hit and killed by a semi truck driver on Interstate 5 between Salem and Albany last week were farm workers in Marion County, including one Salem resident.
The victims died after a truck driven by who Oregon State Police identified as Lincoln C. Smith, 52, plowed into a van carrying the workers on the side of the road, crumpling the van into another semi truck. Four others in the van were seriously injured. Police arrested Smith on charges of manslaughter, third-degree assault, reckless driving and driving under the influence.
Oregon State Police identified the victims Monday afternoon as:
- Adan Garcia Garcia (40) of Woodburn – Minor injury
- Hector Galindo (45) of Gervais – Serious injury
- Maria Flores Martinez (60) of Salem – Serious injury
- Jose Eduardo Solis Flores (41) of Gervais- Serious injury
- Eduardo Lopez (31) of Gervais – Deceased
- Alejandro Jimenez Hernandez (36) of Gervais – Deceased
- Josue Garcia Garcia (30) of Salem – Deceased
- Luis Enrique Gomez Reyes (30) of Woodburn- Deceased
- Javier Suarez (58) of Woodburn – Deceased
- Alejandra Espinoza Carpio (39)- Deceased
- Juan Carlos Leyva Carrillo (37) of Woodburn – Deceased
The victims were agricultural workers and Mexican citizens, the Mexican consulate in Portland said in a statement.
Oregon’s farm worker union, PCUN, said the accident highlighted the dangers facing agricultural workers while traveling to and from work.
“PCUN, and our members would like to send our sincerest condolences to the families, and the workers impacted by this tragedy,” said Reyna Lopez, PCUN’s executive director, in a statement.
Three farmworkers died in a 2019 crash in northeast Salem on the way home from work on a Corvallis tree farm. The U.S. Department of Labor fined the labor contractor employing the men $32,500.
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
JUST THE FACTS, FOR SALEM – We report on your community with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe to Salem Reporter. Click I want to subscribe!
Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.