A 19-year-old Edmonds man was one of four people who received non-life threatening injuries Sunday afternoon in a three-vehicle collision caused by a driver holding his breath while in a tunnel on Highway 26 west of Manning, Oregon State Police (OSP) said.
Bradley Meyring of Edmonds was a passenger in a 1990 Toyota Camry driven by Daniel Calhoon, also 19, from Snohomish, a news release from OSP said. Calhoon was traveling westbound on Highway 26 near milepost 40 entering a tunnel, and told troopers he held his breath as he drove into the Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel and fainted, causing his car to cross the centerline. The Toyota collided head-on with an eastbound 2013 Ford Explorer. Both vehicles then collided into the interior tunnel walls before a third vehicle, a 1999 GMC pickup, collided with the Toyota Camry.
Calhoon and Meyring were transported by ground ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. The Ford Explorer’s driver, Thomas Hatch Jr., 67, and passenger Candace Hatch, 61, both of Astoria, were transported by ground ambulance to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Both were treated and released.
The pickup’s two occupants were not injured.
State police said it’s uncertain why Calhoon was holding his breath, but according to media reports, some people hold their breaths in tunnels as part of a game or superstition.
Calhoon was cited to appear in Washington County Circuit Court for reckless driving, three counts of recklessly endangering another person and fourth-degree assault.
The 772-foot tunnel was closed approximately two hours.