[quote style=”2″]Black Ice Blamed for Interstate Pileup[/quote]
Oregon State Troopers are continuing their investigation into Saturday’s early morning crash involving 26 vehicles on Interstate 84 near Baker City.
Twelve people were injured, but there were no fatalities, according to the OSP. An estimated 50 to 70 vehicles were blocked between the crashes. The pileup took place around 5 a.m. on Saturday. Among the vehicles involved were two trucks transporting diesel fuel, and a Fed Ex truck.
The cause of the collisions was black ice.
Crews from the Oregon Department of Transportation and emergency responders were on the scene.
According to the OSP, 12 victims were treated for injuries at the St. Alphonsus Hospital in Baker City – six arrived by ambulance and six arrived by third party. After their arrival to St. Alphonsus in Baker city, one patient was transferred to OHSU in Portland with serious injuries, one patient was transferred to St. Alphonsus in Boise, Idaho with serious injuries, and two patients were transferred to the Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande for treatment.
A Hazmat team declared no leaks in loads and ODOT and OSP continue to clear scene. The Interstate 84 eastbound lanes were closed following the accident until late Saturday when one eastbound lane of I-84 was opened at milepost 318, 12 miles east of Baker City. Both lanes of the eastbound freeway had been blocked since around 5 a.m. The Eastbound freeway is also open at La Grande and Pendleton. Travelers are advised to watch for crews and equipment in the closed lane and shoulder of the eastbound freeway near the crash site. Clean-up operations may continue for the next few days. Expect winter conditions throughout the Eastern Oregon area.
The highway surface was covered with ice at the time of the collision and driving conditions were very slick. OSP is reminding all drivers that winter driving conditions can be very treacherous and drivers should slow down and use extreme caution when traveling on the highways.