Fish hatchery truck crash investigated as DUI

WALTERVILLE, Ore. - A truck hauling spring Chinook salmon smolt crashed into a power pole on Highway 126E on Tuesday afternoon, and Oregon State Police said the driver is under investigation for possible DUI.

The driver, Ray Lewis, suffered a fractured shoulder.

Troopers said Lewis registered an initial medical blood alcohol level of .29 percent, more than triple the legal limit of .08 percent.

The 11,000 smolt were some of the more than 220,000 being moved from the McKenzie Fish Hatchery to the Row River near Cottage Grove, according to Kurt Kremers with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The agency is moving the fish from the hatchery near Leaburg Dam due to a problem with the water supply. Two of the dam's three gates are not functioning, making it difficult to control water levels in the river and at the hatchery.

Both lanes of the highway were closed while the utility and emergency crews responded to the crash.

One lane was open as of 4:15 p.m. Traffic was down to one lane while crews cleared the wreckage and dead fish from the road.

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