PORTLAND, Ore. – Northbound lanes of Interstate 5 at the notorious Terwilliger Curves were blocked Thursday morning when a semi loaded with several tons of hay bales tipped over.
Only the left lane was getting by the crash scene and road crews scrambled to clean up diesel fuel spilling from the tractor portion of the big truck.
The crash took place at about 4:40 a.m. on the curving, downhill stretch of I-5 that is well-known for rollovers and traffic crashes. The speed limit through the curves is marked at 50 mph.
The driver of the big rig was injured and taken to a hospital but the nature of his injuries was not released.
ODOT officials said they hoped to have the crash cleared by about 10 a.m. but because the truck is so heavy, a crane was being called in to right the semi. However, the lanes were clear by about 9 a.m. after the truck was righted and towed away.
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ODOT advised drivers to exit the freeway and use Barbur Boulevard to circumvent the crash scene. However, they advised drivers to expect significant delays no matter what route they chose.
Portland police said they cited the truck driver, Kevin Mitchell, 31,of Albany, for failure to drive within a lane and impeding traffic. The investigation found that Mitchell lost control of his truck due to inattention and hit the center median, causing the truck to flip.