Car Crash in Tunnel Lesson: Don't Hold Your Breath

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How many of you hold your breath while driving through a tunnel? Well, you might want to rethink that superstition.

A 19-year-old man apparently caused a three-vehicle accident Sunday when he fainted from holding his breath as he drove through a tunnel in Portland, according to Oregon State Police.

Daniel J. Calhon, of Snohomish, Washington, told police he must have passed out from holding his breath in a Highway 26 tunnel near the community of Manning.

His 1990 Toyota Camry crossed the centerline, crashing head-on with a Ford Explorer. A pickup truck joined the mayhem when the driver could not avoid the collision and hit the Camry.

Calhon and his passenger, 19-year-old Bradley Meyring, of Edmonds, Washington, were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Thomas Hatch Jr., 67, and Candace Hatch, 61, from Astoria, were also transported to the hospital.

The two people in the pickup emerged from the accident unhurt.

The breath-holding Calhon was cited for reckless driving, three counts of reckless endangerment and fourth-degree assault in Washington County Circuit Court.

State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said Monday he's not sure why Calhon was holding his breath, which seems surprising considering many people hold their breaths in tunnels for fun or out of superstition.

"It is odd," said Hastings.

What is odd is the fact that Calhon could not hold his breath for the needed 10 seconds it takes to traverse the 772-foot long tunnel when traveling at 55 m.p.h.

Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the accident.

Image via YouTube

Pam Wright

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