- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - The family of a late southern Oregon emergency dispatcher is seeking almost $10 million in a lawsuit against the state, saying the wrong-way driver who killed the woman on Interstate 5 should not have been given a driver’s license.

The complaint, filed Thursday in Medford on behalf of Karen Greenstein’s estate, also names the driver, Richard Webster Scott Jr., as a defendant.

Scott was driving the wrong way at 3 a.m. on March 27, 2014, when his Dodge Caravan collided with Greenstein’s Honda Civic, police said.

Scott has been charged with manslaughter, reckless endangering, reckless driving and felony driving while under the influence of intoxicants. He has been held at the Oregon State Hospital for nearly a year, and he is scheduled for a pre-trial conference June 29, the Mail Tribune newspaper reported (https://is.gd/excIpS ).

The probable-cause affidavit for Scott’s arrest remains sealed under court order, so his blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash is unknown.

A gas station attendant in Grants Pass had called police to report Scott as a drunk driver about a half hour before the crash, saying the man was stumbling and slurring his speech before he drove away from the pump.

Police searched the freeway, but couldn’t find him. Investigators said they believe Scott turned around at the Talent I-5 interchange and headed north in the wrong lane, leading him into Greenstein’s path.

The lawsuit filed by attorney Carl Amala says Oregon law prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing driver’s licenses to people who have had their driving privileges curtailed in other states. The lawsuit says Oregon gave Scott a license at a time when his California driving license had been suspended and revoked because of alcohol-related offenses.

Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman David House told The Associated Press on Friday that the agency had no comment on the lawsuit.

Greenstein, 58, was a longtime dispatcher for Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon who had been named the agency’s Dispatcher of the Year in 2011. About 500 people, many of them police and other emergency services workers, attended her memorial service.


Information from: Mail Tribune, https://www.mailtribune.com/

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