Eugene man dies in crash with intoxicated driver on Hwy 20

Eugene man dies in crash with intoxicated driver on Hwy 20
Photo from Benton County Sheriff's Department

ALBANY, Ore. -- Police say a driver was high on drugs when he crossed the center line of Highway 20 Thursday morning and hit a station wagon head-on, killing the other driver.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office said Damon Selves, 32, of Corvallis was driving his Acura Integra east on Highway 20 when just before 7 a.m. Thursday his car drifted into oncoming traffic.

Witnesses told deputies that Selves tried to turn back into his lane, but couldn't avoid hitting a Ford Escort Wagon driven by Gabriel Ruiz Lopez, 37, of Eugene. Crash investigators said Lopez also tried to avoid the collision. Both cars came to a rest in the middle of Highway 20 at milepost 8, just east of NW Scenic Drive.

Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Selves was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital with minor injuries. After a crash investigation, deputies arrested Selves for manslaughter I, driving under the influence of intoxicants (drugs), and reckless driving.

Sheriff's officials said Selves wasn't wearing a seat belt during the crash, but the Acura's airbags deployed in the collision.

Lopez was wearing a seat belt, but deputies said his Ford Escort was not equipped with airbags.

Highway 20 was closed for about two hours while police examined the crash scene and cleared the wreckage.

Deputies from the Benton County Sheriff's Office are continuing to investigate the crash and the Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information to please contact Detective Sergeant David Peterson at 541-766-6820.