Chain reaction I-5 crash in Salem kills 1, injures 3

Dr. Steven Fritz, a psychiatrist at Oregon State Hospital, died in the crash

Dr. Steven Fritz, the husband of Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, died in this crash on I-5 near Salem, Sept. 24, 2014 (OSP)
Dr. Steven Fritz, the husband of Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, died in this crash on I-5 near Salem, Sept. 24, 2014 (OSP)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A chain reaction crash on I-5 in Salem killed the husband of Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, critically injured another woman and injured three other people.

It was heavily raining around 7:50 a.m. when the crash happened, the Oregon State Police said. A northbound pickup truck hit a commercial vehicle, crossed the grassy median and smashed head-on into the car driven by Dr. Steven Fritz.

Cary Fairchild, shown here is this photo from her Facebook page, was critically injured in same crash on I-5 in Salem that killed Steven Fritz, Sept. 24, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Cary Fairchild, shown here is this photo from her Facebook page, was critically injured in same crash on I-5 in Salem that killed Steven Fritz, Sept. 24, 2014. (KOIN 6)

Two more southbound pickups, a Dodge and a Toyota, were also involved, OSP said.

Fritz was driving a 1993 Nissan Sentra and died at the scene. His passenger,  64-year-old Cary Marie Fairchild, was critically hurt and rushed to Salem Hospital. Fairchild also works at Oregon State Hospital, where she leads treatment groups for patients.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her. We’re hoping she gets better and recovers,” said Oregon Health Authority Spokesperson Rebeka Gipson-King.

Rebeka Gipson-King said Steven Fritz and Fairchild car pooled together for years.

The driver of the pickup, 53-year-old Michael Lippman, suffered minor injuries, as did the two men in the Toyota pickup.

Another, separate crash north of this involved two other cars. Officials described that as minor.

The investigation into the crash continues. Initial indications are that drugs and alcohol were not factors, investigators said. Anyone with information is asked to call 503.375.3555.

Earlier, the Oregon State Police said two people died in this crash. They amended the information around 11:30 a.m.

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