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Nov-25-2007 22:27printcomments

Freezing Fog Blamed Partly in Multi Car Crash on I-5

One driver was seriously injured and had to be extricated by emergency responders.

Early morning crash in Linn County, Oregon 11-25-07
Photo of early morning crash scene courtesy: Oregon State Police

(ALBANY, Ore.) - Police say freezing fog contributed to hazardous driving conditions early Sunday morning in southern Linn County.

It kept officers and emergency responders busy covering numerous traffic crashes included one on Interstate 5 north of Harrisburg that closed the freeway for at least two hours.

Around 4:22 AM, calls began coming in at Oregon State Police dispatch and 9-1-1, reporting a multi-vehicle crash northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 215.

Oregon State Police troopers were called out from their residence and deputies from Linn County Sheriff's Office responded as did several local fire and medical personnel.

Preliminary information indicates a northbound commercial truck pulling a semi-trailer drove upon a vehicle in the center median and attempted to slow down. The truck driver lost control and the truck / trailer jackknifed, coming to a stop across the northbound lanes. As the driver got out to warn and slow approaching traffic, a northbound Nissan driven by a female crashed into the side of the semi-trailer. The top of the Nissan was sheared as it became stuck under the trailer.

Three other passenger vehicles were also unable to stop and crashed into the side of the semi-trailer.

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The Nissan's driver was seriously injured and had to be extricated by emergency responders. She was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The other three drivers received minor injuries but did not require transport to a hospital.

Troopers report that several other minor crashes happened in the area, including some in a three mile section of the freeway near the main crash mentioned above. Other crashes also happened on secondary highways in the area.

ODOT responded to assist with traffic and guardrail crash damage at the various scenes.

Seven Day Weather Forecast

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Karen Watkins February 1, 2008 10:42 pm (Pacific time)

If this was the same multi-vehicle accident... I have some words to say regarding the heroic effort and excellent driving skills of one particular bus driver. I beleive, even as time has passed, that this bus driver deserves some sort of official recognition. We were on his bus that picked us up from the train station in Eugene. Nov, 24, at 5:30 am, to Portland to meet our train that was delayed the night before for mechanical reasons. I have contacted am trak and cannot get any information except that amtrak has their own buses, but occasionally will charter with a local business. No one from their customer service will find who the driver was... there were actually 2 buses, the bus I was on was in the lead. This accident was horrible, crashing all around us, for at least a quarter mile or better... our bus driver, I swear drove us through avoiding wrecking and brought us to a halt in the midst of MAYHEM. Not even a bit of debris hit our bus as far as I could tell. Many of our passengers were sleeping and didn't even know we were in the middle of a CRASH. I counted 13 tow trucks that hauled off cars smashed like pop cans. We saw at least 3 semi trucks off the freeway. I am just saying ... if not for the skill of our driver, this could have been a WHOLE LOT WORSE THAN IT WAS. I dream of it almost every night, and every night I include this angel of a busdriver in my prayers, for my neice and her 2 young and precious babes were also on that bus. I was so shell shocked, that it did not even occur to me to get his name or anything like that... but we sure did shake his hands, bless and thank him as we off boarded in Portland, at the train station. I wish someone could find out who he was and give him credit where credit is due, I weep in gratitude yet as I type this note. remembering the episode is very emotionally moving... so many people were involved. I was so sorry to hear some one passed waway as a result of the collisions. Please help me find peace of mind in locating this driver. Sincerely Karen Watkins, home ph. 360-786-1005 if you need any further information or even care.

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