Eleven vehicles and at least eighteen collisions. The accident on Highway 26 Tuesday that closed the road for four and half hours may have all started with a drunken driver.
Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into Tuesday morning's multi-vehicle injury crash on Highway 26 near the Quartz Creek Bridge in Clatsop County. Various secondary crashes occurred in the immediate area due to icy road conditions. Names of all involved will be released at a later time as OSP troopers are still compiling that information.
According to Sergeant Dennis Thomas, on March 11, 2013 at approximately 9:00 a.m., a Toyota pickup, driven by an adult male was westbound on Highway 26 near milepost 24. The male driver of the Toyota pickup lost control due to icy conditions and crossed the center line crashing into an eastbound GMC pickup that had two occupants. The GMC pick-up caught fire and thanks to the quick efforts of other motorists, the two occupants were rescued from their burning vehicle. The Toyota pickup was struck from behind by a passenger car and pushed into a Commercial Motor Vehicle that was nearly stopped at the crash scene.
The driver of the Toyota pickup and the occupants from the GMC pickup were transported by ground ambulance to Emanuel Hospital in Portland. The driver of the Toyota pickup sustained serious injuries from the crash. One occupant from the GMC pickup received critical injuries and the other received minor injuries.
Investigators believe that alcohol use by the male driver of the Toyota pickup was a contributing factor in the primary crash. That part of the investigation now involves troopers from North Plains, Astoria, and Portland.
Seven (7) other vehicles were involved in secondary crashes in the immediate area of the primary crash scene due to icy road conditions. None of the occupants from the secondary crashes required medical transport.
OSP was assisted at the scene by ODOT, Elsie Vinemaple RFPD, Hamlet VFD, Banks FD, Seaside FD, Clatsop County Sheriff's Office and local tow companies. The Quartz Creek Bridge was closed for approximately 4.5 hrs reopening at 1:30 p.m.
Photographs provided by OSP.