Numerous traffic crashes and semi trucks jack-knifed on the highway due to severe winter driving conditions prompted a four-hour closure of a 72-mile stretch on
Interstate 84 between Baker City and Ontario Tuesday, officials reported.
|Several commercial trucks jack-knifed in the severe driving conditions on I-84 Tuesday - all photos provided by OSP |
|A trooper narrowly avoided injury when he jumped over a concrete median to avoid being hit by a semi-truck that sideswiped his unmarked patrol car after crashing into another truck. |
|All lanes of traffic were closed for over four hours on a 72-mile stretch of I-84.|
|Troopers were kept busy with numerous crashes, including one that injured two occupants of a minivan.|
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Sgt. Darin Helman, the highway was closed about 7:45 a.m., December 18. Two people were injured in one crash, he said, and a trooper narrowly avoided serious injury when he jumped over the concrete median to avoid a semi-truck that sideswiped his unmarked patrol car.
Several crashes were reported about 14 miles east of Baker City near milepost 318, and the highway was closed until shortly before noon. Two occupants in a minivan that collided with a semi truck were transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City with what the sergeant described as non-life threatening injuries.
Another crash occurred when OSP Sr. Trooper Leon Barker arrived on scene at milepost 318 to assist those involved in the series of crashes. An approaching commercial truck was unable to stop, and the trooper jumped over the concrete median in order to avoid being hit. The commercial truck crashed into another truck before sideswiping the trooper's patrol car. No one was injured and the patrol car and commercial truck received moderate damage, troopers said.
Local emergency responders, OSP and Oregon Department of Transportation personnel responded to the scene. ODOT responded with several de-icers, sanders and snowplows, OSP reported.