Traffic accident kills truck driver in Hood River

Traffic accident kills truck driver in Hood River
A Freightliner truck smashed into this tree early Friday morning along Interstate 84 in Hood River, killing its driver. (Oregon State Police)

An accident early Friday morning killed a commercial truck driver along Interstate 84 in Hood River. The Freightliner truck was driven by 64-year-old Melvin Schwark from Lyle, Washington.

Oregon State Police say the truck was going westbound when it drifted and hit a guardrail. It’s unclear why the truck started to drift. The truck and trailer crossed the median and hit a tree, blocking a lane. The accident happened just after 5 a.m.

It took seven hours for police to clear the scene of the crash. Investigators say Schwark was driving for J&L Transportation. The company is based out of Wasco. He was wearing a seatbelt, but investigators are trying to figure out if he suffered a medical emergency while behind the wheel.