Man who held breath, fainted and crashed in Highway 26 tunnel charged

Man who held breath, fainted and crashed in Highway 26 tunnel charged
Photo: Oregon State Police

PORTLAND, Ore. – A 19-year-old Snohomish, Washington man who police said caused a crash after holding his breath and fainting in an Oregon tunnel was charged with assault and reckless driving Wednesday.

Police said after Daniel J. Calhoon fainted in a tunnel on Highway 26, the Toyota Camry he was driving crossed the center line and crashed into an SUV. Both vehicles crashed into the tunnel walls and a pickup truck crashed into the Camry. Four people were injured. Police said none of the injuries was life-threatening.

Calhoon reportedly was holding his breath as part of a game or superstition.

He faces three counts of fourth-degree assault and one count each of reckless driving and second-degree criminal mischief, according to court records.

The tunnel, called the Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel, was completed in 1940 and carries the highway through the Northern Oregon Coast Range mountains. It's 772 feet long, meaning that a car traveling at the posted speed limit of 55 mph would get through it in about 10 seconds.

Calhoon’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 21.