ASTORIA - Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Wednesday morning's two-vehicle traffic crash on the Astoria-Megler Bridge that resulted in one death and serious injuries to another person. The victim's name will be released later this afternoon.

According to Sergeant Andrew Merila, on May 2, at approximately 5:25 a.m. a 2003 Hyundai four-door driven by 27-year-old Nolan Neal Benson of Long Beach, Washington man was northbound on the Highway 101 Astoria-Megler Bridge when it crossed the centerline and collided head-on with southbound a 2003 Toyota pickup driven by Chris A. Levino, 57, from Kelso, Washington.

"We don't know if the driver fell asleep or what," Merila said.

After impact, the pickup came to rest on the guardrail and the Hyundai stopped in the traffic lane.

"The pick-up was teetering on the edge of the bridge when fire crews arrived," Merila said. "They were able to secure the pick-up so it wouldn't go off the bridge. It took the crews about an hour to extricate the pick-up driver from the vehicle."

Benson was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Levino was transported initially to Columbia Memorial Hospital and then transferred to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center with serious injuries.

Both drivers were using safety restraints.

OSP troopers from the Astoria Area Command office are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, Astoria Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Astoria Fire Department, Medix Ambulance and ODOT assisted at the scene.

Police closed the bridge for nearly four hours to investigate the crash. It was reopened shortly after 9 this morning.







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