DA: Man on way to rehab caused fatal wreck - KPTV - FOX 12

DA: Man on way to rehab caused fatal wreck

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SCAPPOOSE, OR (KPTV) -

A driver in a fatal Highway 30 wreck admitted he smoked meth, took Xanax, drank beer and took hits from a marijuana pipe before causing the deadly crash Tuesday, according to court documents.

Mark Thomas told deputies he was driving from Portland to Astoria to check himself into rehab Tuesday morning, the court documents said.

As he neared the town of Scappoose, his Mazda SUV crossed the center median of Highway 30, then crashed into the side of an eastbound Buick Century, police said.

The crash killed the Buick's driver, who police identified as 65-year-old Wayne McCormick of Scappoose.

Those who knew Mccormick are devastated they lost a dear friend. Neighbors described him as a nice guy who was always there to help out and someone who was an avid baseball fan.

Firefighters had to pull Thomas from his damaged car, and a LifeFlight helicopter took him to Legacy Emanuel Hospital. He survived the injuries suffered in the wreck, but he remained hospitalized Friday.

Hospital staff later told police that tests showed Thomas had meth, marijuana and benzodiazepine in his blood, court documents said. Officers also said they spoke with Thomas' sister, who told them Thomas had recently been in rehab for meth addiction.

When police questioned Thomas, he said he didn't remember anything about the crash. He admitted to drinking a 16-ounce beer, taking three Xanax, smoking 1.5 grams of meth and taking two hits off a marijuana pipe on the morning of the crash, the court documents said.

Once Thomas is out of a hospital, authorities plan to charge him with second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence.

Tuesday's crash shut down Highway 30 at Wildwood Road for five hours while police investigated.

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