2 women face drunk-driving charges after 2 wrong-way crashes on I-5 in Portland

Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 5:00 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Two women are facing drunk-driving charges after two separate but nearby crashes on Interstate 5 in Portland early Saturday morning, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

At about 1 a.m., police responded to the report of a wrong-way driver heading south. While officers were on their way, they learned that the car had crashed into another vehicle just north of the South Corbett Avenue exit.

Police said they found three “severely damaged” vehicles when they arrived.

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Following an investigation, police said the wrong-way car was a grey 2021 Nissan Kicks driven by 38-year-old Margot J. Wolfsehr of Portland.

At a curve in the freeway, Wolfsehr nearly crashed head-on into a white Ford Explorer carrying a family with three children.

The Ford Explorer driver swerved, avoiding a head-on crash, and the Nissan sideswiped the Explorer, police said. The Explorer spun to a stop, scattering debris across the road.

A northbound Nissan close behind struck a large piece of sheared-off wheel assembly and was disabled.

While all people involved were checked for injures, none were taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Then, at about 2 a.m., the responding police said they saw a red 2014 Toyota Prius also driving south in the northbound lanes.

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They immediately radioed for help, but the Prius struck a white Ford Fusion nearly head-on just south of South Corbett Avenue, police said.

Police said the Prius was driven by 23-year-old Emely Mendoza of Salem.

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Mendoza was checked by medics but declined a ride to the hospital. The man driving the Ford Fusion suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital but is expected to recover.

Both Wolfsehr and Mendoza were criminally cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and endangerment. Mendoza was also cited for third-degree assault.