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Hwy 18 at Dayton Closed for Hours Due to Crash into BridgeBonnie King Salem-News.com
The bridge crosses the Yamhill River, and is a main thoroughfare for travelers.
(DAYTON, Ore.) - A wood chip truck on its way from Willamina to Vancouver with a full load of chips crashed Monday morning near Dayton, closing Hwy 18 in both directions from 9 o'clock until after 4 p.m.
Those that were nearby at the time heard the loud crash, followed soon thereafter by sirens and an immediate traffic jam build up.
54-year old Marvin Brown of Vancouver, Washington was driving the semi truck eastbound on Hwy 18. For an unknown reason, the truck left its lane of travel, crossed the highway and hit a section of the bridge over the Yamhill River.
The crash was about 1 mile west of the intersection with 99W, causing extensive damage to the bridge.
Travelers going south on Hwy 18 were detoured around the closure using Kreder Road which connects to 99W just north of Lafayette. Those traveling north were detoured through Lafayette, causing enormous back up for thousands of vehicles.
Dayton was cut off from easy access to Newberg, so that includes anyone coming from Salem this direction. Lafayette Highway became backed up for miles. Some avoided the lineup by turning around and driving into McMinnville to catch 99W there, which was very out of the way but still saved time.
During the detour kerfuffle, another crash was reported on 99W and Kreder Lane, an intersection usually used by locals that understand the difficulty.
Crews at the truck crash scene removed the truck from the bridge and cleared the area, which took an extensive amount of time.
Officials did not know at once why it crossed the highway into the bridge. Oregon State Police station Commander Fred Testa told KLYC News "it doesn't appear there was a mechanical problem with the truck".
Some speculate that the truck may have had a tire blow out, others surmise the driver may have been "drowsy driving". The investigation is ongoing.
After seven hours, the highway was completely reopened.
Sources: ODOT; KLYC Radio; OSP
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