Salem man killed, another injured after driving off Highway 22 into embankment

Police say one person was killed and another was injured in a collision early Sunday morning, Oct. 8, after driving into an embankment off state Highway 22 just outside west Salem and being ejected from their car.

David L. Nelson, 55 of Salem, was declared dead at the scene. David J. Nelson, 23 of Salem, suffered minor injury and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Police responded at 12:23 a.m. on Sunday to a crash involving one car on the highway near milepost 23 in Polk County, the Oregon State Police announced in a news release Monday afternoon.

Crash investigators determined that the driver of a Ford Mustang was heading eastbound at a high rate of speed when they lost control of the car, which left the highway and struck an embankment. 

“Both occupants were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle,” according to the police statement. “At this time, speed and potential impairment are being considered the primary causes of the crash.”

The highway was impacted for about six hours while police investigated the collision.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.