ODOT still warns of freezing fog, limited visibility
(Update: Highway 26 reopens)
MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Crashes involving nine vehicles in freezing fog and ice, including a semi-truck and a jet-fuel tanker truck that caught fire, sent two people to the hospital and closed U.S. Highway 26 three miles north of Madras all day Tuesday.
The crashes were reported shortly after 8 a.m. near milepost 115, about three miles north of Madras, at Boise Drive. Follow TripCheck updates at our page.
The road finally reopened after nightfall, though ODOT still warned drivers of freezing fog and limited visibility in the area.
Oregon State Police said six cars and three truck-trailer combinations were involved in the “chain-reaction type collision due to dense fog and icy roadways.”
Two operators were taken by ambulance to St. Charles Madras, troopers said, adding that no citations have been issued.
Jefferson County Fire District officials noted less than quarter-mile visibility and slippery roads at the time of the crash.
Deputy Fire Chief Kasey Skaar said the tanker was carrying 10,000 gallons of “avgas” (aviation fuel) and the crashed tanker was leaking fuel.
Skaar said crews were able to remove the driver as the truck began to catch fire. They also were able to knock down the fire with an extinguisher and keep it in check until more firefighters arrived.
Among other agencies called to the scene were Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies, Jefferson County EMS, Oregon State Police, Madras police, Warm Springs Fire and Safety and SMAF Environmental.
The smaller vehicles were removed from the road by mid-morning, but the wrecked semi and fuel tanker were still on the highway as the crash investigation continued and the fuel was moved to another tanker. Ira's Towing was brought in to remove the vehicles, OSP said.