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Wrong-way drunk driver arrested after hitting car, killing passenger Tuesday

A. Bliven
A. Bliven

A driver going the wrong way on Interstate 5 struck a car near Brooks early Tuesday morning, killing a passenger.

At approximately 2:50 a.m. Nov. 25, the Oregon State Police (OSP) received a call reporting a wrong-way driver on I-5 near Brooks. About one minute later, OSP received a second call of a head-on crash on I-5 near milepost 266.5. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Keizer Police Department responded to the scene to assist until OSP troopers arrived to conduct the investigation.

While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary information indicates a white 2003 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Audrey Bliven, 49, of Salem, was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of travel. Near milepost 266.5 on I-5, the Jetta crashed head-on into a black BMW 320 which was southbound in the left lane of travel.

The female right front passenger in the BMW, identified as Deana DeLeon, 49, of Nyssa, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The adult male driver, identified as 37-year-old Juan Ledesma of Renton, Wash., and a juvenile female passenger whose name will be withheld, were injured and transported to the Salem Hospital.

The juvenile female was transferred from Salem Hospital to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Bliven was transported to Salem Hospital for treatment. Upon her release from the hospital, Bliven was arrested by OSP for the crimes of manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, driving under the influence of intoxicants – alcohol, assault, recklessly endangering another person and reckless driving.

While the accident was being investigated, Oregon Department of Transportation officials set up a detour that went through Woodburn and Keizer for southbound traffic.

All lanes of southbound I-5 were reopened shortly before 8 a.m.

As a criminal investigation, any further information will be released by the Marion County District Attorney’s Office; contact Amy Queen at (503) 804-6951 at the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to the MCSO, KPD and ODOT, the OSP also received assistance from the Woodburn Fire Department.