High-speed wrong-way driver arrested after pursuit on I-84 in Union County

By on Friday, December 15th, 2023 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

UNION/UMATILLA COUNTIES – In a heart-pounding incident, Oregon State Police received a flurry of reports just before midnight on Monday, December 11 about a wrong-way driver careening down Interstate 84 outside Starkey. Witnesses described a vehicle heading westbound in the eastbound lanes with alarming speed, recklessly weaving between lanes.

Despite the hazardous conditions caused by dense fog and the late hour, OSP says reports continued to flood in about the dangerous situation. The vehicle finally corrected its course at Exit 234 past Meacham, only to maintain an excessive speed and swerving.

Troopers were unable to reach milepost 224 in time due to the challenging conditions and distance. However, other troopers deployed spike strips at the bottom of Cabbage Hill, puncturing the tires and forcing the vehicle to a stop by Milepost 216.

The driver, identified as Mark Daniel Johnson, a 31-year-old resident of Portland, was promptly taken into custody. Johnson faces charges of Reckless Driving and Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) – Alcohol.

Johnson exhibited signs of intoxication and refused further contact with law enforcement. A search warrant was subsequently obtained to conduct a blood test. The vehicle involved was impounded.