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Fatal Crash Closes Parts of I-5

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[UPDATE: 6:30 P.M.] Oregon State Police confirmed that alcohol was a factor in the accident and Richard Scott is still recovering from serious injuries at a Portland hospital. Police said he will likely face criminal charges.

[UPDATE: 11:17 A.M.] Medford Police released a statement on their Facebook page regarding the victim of this fatal traffic crash:

The Medford Police Department is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Karen Greenstein, a long time Emergency Dispatcher who was very well liked and respected in the law enforcement community. She was traveling home after a work shift this morning when she was killed by a wrong way driver on I-5, south of Medford. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

[UPDATE: 10:27 A.M.] Oregon State Police say preliminary investigation indicates a silver 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan driven by 32-year-old Richard Webster Scott from Grants Pass, was driving northbound in the right hand southbound lane of Interstate 5 when it collided head-on with a southbound 2006 Honda Civic driven by 58 year-old Karen Lee Greenstein from Ashland.

Oregon State Police report Greenstein was ejected from her vehicle and pronounced deceased at the scene. Investigators learned Greenstein worked over 20 years for several Jackson County-area emergency dispatch centers and was en route home after completing her shift at Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon.

OSP is asking any witnesses who have not spoken to investigators to call OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at 541-776-6111.

[PREVIOUS] MEDFORD, ORE. – Oregon State Police believes that alcohol was involved in the early morning crash along I-5.

The fatal crash on I-5 southbound occurred Thursday morning at 3 a.m. A male driver was heading in the wrong direction and hit a female motorist head-on at mile marker 24. The female was killed and the male was sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

The fatal crash on I-5 Southbound has closed sections of the interstate. Both southbound lanes are blocked off between exits 27 and 21. Officials are not allowing those heading northbound onto the interstate as well. All traffic is being diverted to Highway 99.

Oregon State police are beginning the investigation into the crash that occurred about five miles south of Medford.

13 comments

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  1. Annie says:

    Premeditated murder.
    You drink & drive & kill someone that is what they should be charged with…& his passenger an accomplice.
    No innocence or accident involved.
    Murder.

  2. bon.appetit says:

    So why doesn’t medford enact a ban on alcohol? Seeing how much damage it repeatedly costs.

    1. Laurie VanCurler says:

      What good would it do to ban alcohol in Medford? The crash didn’t happen in the Medford city limits, and neither vehicle was driven by someone from Medford. They tried prohibition once, it was a dismal failure.

  3. Chris says:

    I agree!!! It is almost always the innocent ones that die. When are they going to make it PREMEDITATED MURDER, they get into a car without a care in the world!!!

  4. Jennifer says:

    I agree. I dont understand why the system always gives people manslaughter charges when they get behind the wheel, knowing they are drunk, and kill someone. I believe it should be murder charges, too. Maybe then, people will think twice when they get behind the wheel drunk if there is stiffer consequences. The drunks only get a couple of years locked up, and the families of the deceased forever without their loved ones.

    1. Lorelee says:

      Unfortunetly people who drink and then get behind the wheel never give a thought that they are doing anything wrong. When you drink the first place the alcohol hits is the frontal lobe and that is where all the reasoning takes place. I do believe the charge should be more strict. But I don’t think they will think twice about getting behind the wheel.

  5. Catherine says:

    A GREAT IDEA!!! If someone knowingly & willingly gets behind the wheel after drinking- fully aware they’re intoxicated- should, WITHOUT A DOUBT, be charged with PREMEDITATED MURDER!!!! It’s a no-brainer!!!
    My thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this horrific & painful time.

  6. stella says:

    If there was a bar that served him the last drink…..I wonder which one it was!!!!
    Prayers going out to the families!

  7. john souza says:

    Karen was a wonderful and sweet soul. She will be missed. Unfortunately stronger sentences are not a deterrent for DUI people. They should be punished, but we should focus on how to stop it from happening. With the technology we have, this should never happen..
    we love you Karen and our prayers to your loving family.

  8. concerned citizen says:

    Check the keys at the door when you come in. Pass a beathilizer (sp) test you get your keys back or they call a cab and you pay the ride home. Laws and penalties they have in place now are not a deterrent. Too many people still being killed. Prayers to the family

  9. Lucy says:

    You couldn’t even tell what kind of car she was driving! This guy needs to be locked up for a very long time. Makes me sick!

  10. Jamie says:

    My deepest sympathy to Karen Greenstein’s family and friends.

    No sympathy at all for any drunk driver who kills.

  11. cory says:

    That guy came into our gas station , Arco in grants pass , the gas attendant Jen called the police and they took their sweet time getting to him! Jen wishes she had taken his keys , but who knows what he could’ve done to her. I’m saddened that this happened to Karen , she did not deserve it. I wish we could’ve stopped that guy , but it was safest for the police to handle it , and they did not. Shame on them.

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