Accident on bridge stops traffic for over an hour

The Siuslaw River Bridge was shut down for over an hour on June 12 when an intoxicated driver caused a multi-vehicle accident. (Photo by Mark Brennan/Siuslaw News)

Driver cited for DUII, reckless endangering after hitting multiple vehicles

June 13, 2022 — The Siuslaw River Bridge was closed for more than an hour Sunday after a car crashed into multiple vehicles.

On June 12, at 5:34 p.m. Florence Police received a report of a motor vehicle crash on the Siuslaw bridge. Upon arrival, officers determined the suspect was driving southbound on Highway 101 and as he entered onto the Siuslaw bridge struck a motorcycle.

The suspect, Luke Taylor, struck the first motorcycle and continued southbound where he struck a second motorcycle.  At that point, Taylor stopped and the female operator of the motorcycle was able to climb away from her bike that was lodged under Taylor’s vehicle. 

Taylor then accelerated, dragging the motorcycle under his vehicle, before crashing into a van. Western Lane Fire and Emergency Authority (WLFEA) units responded, and the operators of the van and the two motorcycles were transported to PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Hospital.

According to Matt House, Deputy Chief of WLFEA, personnel responded to calls of an accident on the Siuslaw River Bridge at 5:31 p.m. 

“The accident was initially dispatched as a vehicle versus motorcycle with unknown injuries,” he said. “When units arrived on scene, crews identified a large debris field which was spread along the entire bridge. Four patients were identified, all from the motorcycles. Two patients required transport to Peace Harbor Hospital with stable injuries. The other two went to Peace Harbor Hospital without necessary ambulance transport.”

While speculation on social media discussed the injuries, there were no fatalities, House said.

Taylor was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), reckless driving, failure to perform duties of a driver felony (hit and run) and multiple counts of reckless endangering. 

Taylor was also cited for driving with a suspended license.

The Siuslaw River Bridge was closed for more than an hour as police investigated the scene, EMS attended to victims and so crews could clear the bridge of disabled vehicles and debris.