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Jan-05-2009 10:34printcomments

Truck Crashes Halt Traffic on Interstate 84 for 3 Hours (PHOTOS)

Jackknife crashes affect Interstate 84 eastbound traffic for 3 hours east of Mosier.

Semi crash on I-84 in Oregon, 1-5-09
Photos courtesy: Oregon State Police

(MOSIER, Ore.) - Police say Interstate 84 eastbound lanes were closed about three hours Monday morning east of Mosier following multiple ice-related commercial truck crashes including a jackknifed set of double trailers at the Memaloose Rest Area.

Highway conditions were icy; state troopers say this was caused by freezing rain on top of packed snow.

A commercial truck pulling two semi-trailers was eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 72 when the rear trailer started sliding on ice, according to Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Michael Holloran.

He says the driver, 52-year old James T. Leek of Vancouver, Washington, attempted to regain control but all vehicles began to slide sideways and jackknife.

The rear trailer rolled on its side onto the center median, and the truck and first trailer came to a stop across the eastbound lanes and shoulder.

The eastbound lanes were closed to avoid further problems and traffic was re-routed through Memaloose Rest Area with help of ODOT sanding equipment.

Holloran says that as the jackknifed vehicles were being removed by a tow company, four unchained commercial trucks slid into each other near milepost 71.

"The second incident completely closed eastbound lanes for an hour as another OSP trooper helped get the trucks chained up and moving."

The first incident near the rest area was cleared and vehicles moved onto the eastbound shoulder so all lanes could be opened around 8:00 AM, Holloran said.

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