Keizer firefighters assess damage after a severe car accident on River Rd. N on Monday, Nov. 29 (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
On the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 29 Keizer police and Keizer Fire District responded to a one-car accident on the intersection of River Rd N. and Chemawa Rd., which caused a traffic delay for over an hour.
According to Keizer Police spokesperson Trevor Wenning, 22-year old Trevor Gardner, who was behind the wheel, had a medical emergency at the intersection.
“Mr. Gardner’s vehicle was stopped for the traffic signal when witnesses observed him suddenly slump over and accelerate into the intersection,” Wenning said.
The vehicle veered right and drove up onto the southwest corner of the intersection, clipping a light pole and then striking a brick water fountain. The car eventually rolled over on its side and came to a rest.
Gardner was transported to the hospital soon after the crash. Although the accident appeared serious, Gardner suffered just a concussion, as well as some minor scrapes and cuts, and was released from the hospital later that day.
“It is a miracle that he didn’t get hurt any more,” said Lexy Collins, Gardner’s girlfriend. “I don’t understand how he was able to just walk away from that and that no one else was hurt. It could have been so much worse.”
Wenning says that neither drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
“The hospital did their customary blood draw since it involved a crash and the driver was transported (to the hospital). There was no indication of impairment observed by the officer and the hospital has not notified us of a B.A.C. (Blood Alcohol Concentration),” he said.
Collins confirmed that Gardner’s medical emergency was a seizure, and that it was something he had never experienced before.
“It was the first time he had ever had a seizure and been unconscious,” she said.
According to Collins, Gardner, who lives in Keizer, was on his way home from working in Brooks when he blacked out while driving by Hitchin’ Post Restaurant, and then started convulsing at the River Rd. and Chemawa intersection.
“He doesn’t remember turning onto River Rd. He remembers seeing Hitchin Post, and that’s it,” Collins said.
The cause of Gardner’s seizure is still unknown. Collins says that Gardner is waiting to get results from an MRI and EEG. He also will be seeing a neurologist later this month.
Although Gardner was able to return to work this week, doctors have advised him to refrain from driving for at least three months.
Matt Rawlings: [email protected]