A semi truck driver suffered serious injuries in a crash that shut down I-5 in Oregon for hours yesterday.
The crash occurred around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15, near Woodburn, Oregon.
Oregon State Police say that 24 year old California-based truck driver Gagandeep Singh was southbound on I-5 at mile marker 273 when he noticed smoke coming from his truck and pulled over on the shoulder of the interstate. Singh and his passenger, 38 year old Baljit Singh, got out of the truck and saw that it was on fire.
Fifty-one year old Oregon-based truck driver Rex Hollopeter was also southbound on I-5 when he struck Singh’s truck.
Both trucks caught fire. Hollopeter’s truck came to a stop blocking lanes of southbound I-5.
Hollopeter was airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
Gagandeep Singh and Baljit Singh were both unhurt.
Witness Alex Ihnat told KATU, “There were just explosion after explosion happening. So, boom and two seconds later, boom. Every time there was a boom, you could see a fireball in the sky and you could see more and more black smoke.”
The incident closed southbound I-5 for hours and resulted in massive traffic backups. The right lane will remain closed due to damage from the truck fires.
The crash is still under investigation.