Police: Inmate workers injured when semi truck crashes along I-5

Police: Inmate workers injured when semi truck crashes along I-5
(Photo by Oregon State Police)

WILSONVILLE, Ore. – Two inmate work crew members were struck and injured, one seriously,  when a semi truck crashed into a ditch along Interstate 5 Tuesday morning, state police said.

Two lanes were blocked until late in the afternoon.

The crash was reported around 10:20 a.m., police said.

Alisa Cour with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue said the truck hit a work crew on the side of the road. One 40-year-old female member of the work crew was rushed to a Portland hospital. According to Oregon State Police, Angela Baca injuries were serious but not life threatening.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office asked a judge to release Baca early so family members could visit her without restrictions as she recovers from her injuries. A judge granted the request. Baca was originally scheduled to be released Feb. 21.

Another inmate was treated at the scene and the truck driver, 44-year-old Edwin Gagarin from Sunnyvale, Calif., was taken to the hospital, treated and then released, police said.

OPS said Gagarin was driving his truck southbound in the right lane at about 55 mph when he said he passed out. His truck sideswiped the work crew on the side of the road. The truck then crashed into a cable barrier and then into a ditch.

According to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, the three-person inmate crew was picking up trash along the freeway as part of an ODOT contract. The crew was supervised by a sheriff's deputy.

A hazardous materials crew responded to the crash to contain an estimated 25-50 gallon diesel fuel leak.

The Oregon Department of Transportation said one southbound lane is currently open and crews hope to have all lanes open by the afternoon commute.

Drivers should avoid the area or expect significant delays, ODOT said.

Southwest Boones Ferry Road, which parallels the freeway, was also closed so emergency crews could access the scene.

The truck was hauling paper products, police said.