Court docs: Wrong-way semi driver says he felt the effects of alcohol

Court docs: Wrong-way semi driver says he felt the effects of alcohol »Play Video
Kenneth Burgess declines to comment Wednesday morning as he leaves a court hearing about what happened the morning police say he was drunk while driving a semitrailer and plowed nearly head-on with another car on Interstate 205.

PORTLAND, Ore. – According to court documents, the truck driver who police say was driving the wrong way on the Glenn Jackson Bridge and caused a crash admitted to police he shouldn't have been on the road.

Kenneth Burgess, 49, declined to comment on what happened Wednesday morning as he left a court hearing after bailing out of jail.

Court documents show just how drunk authorities say Burgess was when the big rig he was driving plowed nearly head-on into an oncoming car Monday morning on the Interstate 205 bridge over the Columbia River.

A probable cause affidavit for Burgess' arrest says "... Burgess stumbled and struggled to keep his balance while standing."

Burgess also failed a field sobriety test. It showed he had a blood alcohol level of .15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for most drivers let alone a commercial truck driver.

The affidavit also says “... Burgess admitted he should not have been driving and that he felt the effects of the alcohol he consumed."

Katherine Emerson of Vancouver, whose car was hit by the oncoming truck, suffered only bruises and cuts from broken glass. She's recovering at home and is still trying to get over the shock of the collision that, incredibly, left her with no major injuries.

One detail not identified in the court documents was where Burgess might have been drinking before the crash.

After bailing out of jail, the court ordered Burgess to stay with his parents in Klickitat County until his next court appearance scheduled for April 26.


Police investigate the scene of the accident on the Glenn Jackson Bridge Monday March 18, 2013 where they say Kenneth E. Burgess was intoxicated when he drove the wrong way on the I-205 bridge at smashed nearly head-on with a car.