The Associated Press
MANNING, Ore. — Oregon State Police say a 19-year-old man caused a three-car crash when he fainted while holding his breath as he drove through a tunnel northwest of Portland.
According to police the Snohomish man told investigators he fainted Sunday afternoon while holding his breath in the Highway 26 tunnel west near the community of Manning. His car drifted across the center line and crashed head-on into another vehicle.
Both vehicles struck the tunnel walls before a pickup truck hit the Snohomish man’s car.
Four people suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening: the Snohomish man and his passenger, a 19-year-old from Edmonds, and a man, 67, and woman, 62, both from Astoria, in the vehicle that was hit head on.
Police said the man faces charges including reckless driving, reckless endangerment and fourth-degree assault.
State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said Monday he’s not sure why the man was holding his breath, but some people hold their breaths in tunnels as part of a game or superstition.
The tunnel was closed for about two hours.
The Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel is 772 feet long, meaning that a car traveling at the posted speed limit of 55 mph would get through it in about 10 seconds.