A semi truck tractor with extensive damage afer colliding into a crash absober box on I-84 in Celilo on Monday. Photo by Bryan Dorr, May 11, 2009.

Truck collides with maintenance truck

By Bryan Dorr
May 12, 2009, 12:36 PM PDT

CELILO, Ore.—A semi truck collides with a highway maintenance truck Monday afternoon in eastern Oregon, spilling its content and backing up traffic.

A semi truck, operated by Felix J. Braxton, 66, of Portland, Ore., collides into an Oregon Department of Transportation dump truck crash absorber box with an illuminated arrow sign on Interstate 84 near mile post 96 in Celilo, Ore.

Willian Grant Mead, 47, of The Dalles, partially blocks the westbound right lane with the dump truck to protect ODOT maintenance crew conducting highway maintenance.

Braxton, heading westbound, reportedly misjudges his clearance and collides into the crash absorber box then slides to the left into the concrete median.

The collision punctures one of the tanks, causing it to spill concrete ash onto the roadway and causing extensive damage to the tractor.

Police shut down all I-84 westbound lanes near exit 96 for a couple of hours as crews clean up the wreckage. Westbound traffic backs up for five miles.

Motorists detour using State Route 14 across the Columbia River between The Dalles and Biggs Junction. All eastbound I-84 lanes remain open.

Both Braxton and Mead were reported wearing safety restraints and neither was injured.

Oregon State Police cite Braxton for Careless Driving.

Monday’s collision was one of the two collisions involving ODOT highway maintenance vehicles.

A motorist died Monday after colliding into an ODOT maintenance truck crash absorber box east of Multnomah Falls when ODOT crews performed highway maintenance. The driver of that vehicle was reported not wearing safety restraints.

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