Three separate truck crashes on Interstate 84 on Cabbage Hill east of Pendleton within a short period of time Sunday morning led to the closure of the westbound lanes about five hours.
On an icy and foggy Cabbage Hill Sunday, a Covenant Trucking Co. truck and semi-trailer truck broke through the I-84 guardrail and traveled down a steep, rocky embankment about 300 feet before coming to rest on its side at the bottom and spilling its contents. OSP photo
Poor visibility due to thick fog and icy conditions were contributing factors, and two people were transported to hospitals with injuries.
Oregon State Police Sgt. Bob Cannon said three commercial truck crashes happened before 6 a.m. Sunday on the downhill westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near milepost 223.The first incident involved aCovenant Trucking Co. truck and semi-trailer driven by Susan Arhart, age and residence not available.
Arhart was shifting gears down due to extreme fog and ice conditions when she lost control and struck the guardrail, the OSP said.
The truck and trailer broke through the guardrail and traveled down a steep, rocky embankment about 300 feet before coming to rest on its side at the bottom.
The trailer’s load broke through the container and spilled onto the ground.
Arhart and passenger Michael Archebelle, age and residence information also not available, were both injured and trapped inside the truck.
Umatilla Fire Department personnel extricated both occupants. Arhart was transported with minor injuries to St. Anthony's Hospital in Pendleton.
Archebelle, who was asleep at the time of the crash, was first taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital and later transported by LifeFlight to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland with serious injuries.
Shortly after the first incident a truck driven by Mark Marinelli, age and residence information not available, was also westbound gearing down due to the same hazardous conditions.
As the truck rounded the corner Marinelli lost control and crossed the westbound lanes traveling off the right side of the highway.
The truck flipped onto its side and came to a stop. Marinelli was trapped inside uninjured. Umatilla Tribal Fire Department personnel were able to remove the windshield allowing Marinelli to get out of the truck.
In the third incident, a westbound Federal Express truck pulling two trailers was driven by Manuel Herrera, age and residence not available.
Herrera lost control due to the conditions and the rear trailer flipped onto its side, breaking loose from the first trailer. The trailer came to rest off the side of the freeway lanes.
The truck and first trailer jackknifed, traveling through the first two crash scenes and came to a stop blocking the westbound lanes. Herrera and his passenger were not injured.
All three incidents involved minor hazardous material spills, diesel and acetone, handled by the Hermiston Haz Mat Team.
OSP troopers from the Pendleton Area Command office are completing the crash investigations.
Cannon credited ODOT, Umatilla Fire and Rescue, Hermiston Haz Mat Team, Umatilla Police Department and Blue Mountain Recovery with responding quickly and assisting during a dangerous situation.