Observer staff

A Summerville man was involved in a multi-vehicle crash Thursday that sent four people to medical facilities and closed Interstate 84 for several hours.

Austin Pendell, 24, of Summerville, suffered minor injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to Good Shepherd Hospital in Hermiston.

The accident occurred shortly after noon on Interstate 84 eastbound near milepost 156 in Morrow County.

Police said that the preliminary investigation revealed traffic had slowed or come to a stop due to construction working in the area. The crash involved a 2015 Kenworth Conventional Truck and semitrailer operated by Arthur O’Neal, 41, of Prichard, Alabama, a 2012 Dodge pickup occupied by Christopher Guthridge, 27, and William Guthridge, 65, both of Silverton, a 2001 Pontiac operated by Jamie Starboard, 37, of Baker City, and three child passengers, and a 2012 Dodge pickup towing a flatbed trailer operated by Pendell.

Police are still investigating the details of the crash, and exactly what the chain of events were that led to the incident, according to a press release from the Oregon State Police. Preliminary evidence and statements indicate the Pendell’s pickup and trailer combination initially struck Starboard’s Pontiac, causing a series of chain reaction crashes, police said.

William Guthridge suffered critical injuries and was transported from the crash scene by Life Flight to St. Charles Hospital in Bend. Christopher Guthridge suffered serious injuries and was initially transported by ground ambulance to Good Shepherd Hospital in Hermiston then transferred by Lifeflight to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

Starboard suffered minor injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to Good Shepherd Hospital. A 12-year old female passenger in Starboard’s vehicle was transported by ground ambulance to Mid Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles with serious injuries. Two other children in the vehicle were transported to Good Shepherd Hospital for evaluation.

O’Neal was uninjured in the crash.

The accident remains under investigation by OSP troopers from the Pendleton Area Command with assistance from the Oregon State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit.

The interstate remained closed for approximately 3-1/2 hours to allow for investigation and removal of crashed vehicles.

The Oregon State Police were assisted at the scene by the Morrow County Sheriff's Office, Boardman Fire and the Oregon Department of Transportation.