North Albany Ore. — 08/22/2014 — Deputies from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to investigate a two-vehicle fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred on Highway 20 at mile post eight, east of NW Scenic Drive in North Albany. The crash resulted in the death of one of the drivers and minor injuries to the other driver. There were no passengers in either vehicle. The surviving driver was arrested for multiple, serious charges.
At about 6:57 am on Thursday, August 21, 2014, Damon Selves, 32, from Corvallis, Oregon, was driving east on Highway 20 in a 1995 Acura Integra. Gabriel Ruiz Lopez, age 37, from Eugene, Oregon, was driving west on Highway 20 in a 1993 Ford Escort Wagon. According to witness statements and evidence on the roadway, the Acura Integra traveled into the westbound lane and tried to turn back into his lane. The Ford Escort tried to avoid the Acura Integra, but the vehicles collided head on and came to rest in the middle of Highway 20.
Damon Selves was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis by the Corvallis Fire Department with minor injuries. Gabriel Ruiz Lopez was extracted from his vehicle and pronounced deceased on the scene by medics. After an investigation by deputies, Damon Selves was arrested for the following charges: Manslaughter I, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (Drugs), and Reckless Driving.
Damon Selves was not wearing a safety belt and airbags were deployed in the Acura Integra. Gabriel Ruiz Lopez was wearing a safety belt and the Ford Escort was not equipped with airbags. The Benton County Multi-Agency Collision Investigation Team was activated and investigated the scene. Firefighters and EMT’s from the Albany Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation also assisted at the scene. Highway 20 was closed for about two and a half hours.
Deputies from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to investigate the crash and the Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information to please contact Detective Sergeant David Peterson at 541-766-6820.