A long stretch of I-84 in Oregon was shut down for much of last Saturday after a huge 26-vehicle crash, but has now been reopened.
The chain reaction crash, which occurred at 5 AM Saturday morning, was most likely caused by a combination of black ice and poor visibility. It involved a dozen tractor trailers and at least 50 cars. Over 160 miles of the eastbound lanes were shut down from Pendleton to Ontario, OR, as road crews worked to remove all of the mangled vehicles from the road.
Twelve people were injured and treated at a local hospital.
It appeared that the pile up started when a few big rigs hit black ice on the highway and jackknifed, and slammed into each other. There were many separate crashes over a one mile stretch of the road. Many were big rigs and some spilled their loads onto the road. Two trucks were carrying hazardous materials but their cargo did not spill.
Local police stated that it was miraculous that no one was seriously injured in the huge pile up.
We also are relieved that no one was seriously hurt in these crashes. In our legal work as personal injury lawyers for truck crash victims, we have seen what can happen when trucks get out of control in poor weather conditions. One of our clients was killed on black ice when a big rig lost control and slammed into his car. We argued in the mediation that because the truck driver had a commercial driver’s license, he had a high degree of responsibility to drive his rig safely.