‘Don’t drink and drive’ sign hit by drunk driver

A Salem business owner says this is the most dangerous corner in Salem

The owner of Carz-n-Trux Collision Repair in Salem says he hung the sign 3 weeks ago. (Courtesy of Dennis Lafferty)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A Salem business owner says just weeks after putting up an anti-drunk driving sign, a drunk driver ran right into it.

The crash Sunday morning is just the latest in a series that cause Dennis Lafferty to call the road in front of his shop the most dangerous in Marion County.

In the latest incident, the 46-year-old Eric Jones, failed to make the curve at Pringle Rd. and Hoyt St. and crashed his red truck into through a chain-link fence and into the truck ironically marked “Don’t drink and drive.”

Three other parked cars were also hit at Carzntrux collision repair shop. Jones was arrested and charged for driving under the influence, according to police.

In April an SUV missed the turn and flipped onto several cars in the lot. (Courtesy of Dennis Lafferty)
In April an SUV missed the turn and flipped onto several cars in the lot. (Courtesy of Dennis Lafferty)

Lafferty says this sin’t the first time it’s happened. In the 15 years he’s operated Carsntrux here, cars have flipped, dived and rolled off the road, right into his business.

He says he has done everything he can think of to get drivers to slow down and see the sharp curve, but it hasn’t worked. Lafferty says in the past 2 months, there have been at least 4 wrecks.

“I have seen people fishtail going around the corner,” Lafferty said. “They seem to have trouble negotiating this corner.”

He says the worst wreck happened in April, when an SUV missed the turn and tore through the fence and flipped onto 2 cars Lafferty was working on.

“Took the top off this truck, nose dived into the Honda and back flipped on to the Mercedes and another Toyota Avalon that was parked there,” Lafferty said.

In April an SUV missed the turn and flipped onto several cars in the lot. (Courtesy of Dennis Lafferty)
In April an SUV missed the turn and flipped onto several cars in the lot. (Courtesy of Dennis Lafferty)

Lafferty has put up concrete bricks, a chain-link fence and reflectors on the road, even got the city to put up a sign, but so far, nothing has stopped the crashes.

Kevin Hottman with Salem Public Works told KOIN 6 News there is no way to position a guard rail there without causing a hazard to drivers. but they are going to reevaluate signage in that area.

“It needs to be looked at,” Lafferty said. “Especially this one. This guy he could have died in this one.”

 

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