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Interstate 84 in Gorge reopens, hours after semi-truck with crane boom blew a tire, crashed and caught fire

Crane truck crash, fire closed Interstate 84 for hours Monday morning
Crane truck crash, fire closed Interstate 84 for hours Monday morning

(Update: Westbound lanes also reopen; details of crash)

CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A nearly 50-mile stretch of Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge was closed for several hours Monday after a semi-truck with a crane boom and flatbed trailer blew a tire, plowed through a cement barrier into the oncoming lane, jackknifed, overturned and caught fire.

The driver escaped with only minor injuries from the crash that occurred around 6:45 a.m. as the 37-year-old driver was heading east on I-84, near milepost 42 Oregon State Police reported.

The truck crashed into the westbound lane, slid on the cement barrier and caught fire, prompting a cleanup that still had the freeway closed in both directions at midday.

All eastbound and westbound lanes of I-84 were closed between Troutdale, exit 17, and Hood River, exit 62.

ODOT updated the situation around 3 p.m., saying eastbound lanes had reopened between Troutdale and Hood River. Westbound lanes remained closed at The Dalles for about another hour. 

ODOT worked with Gerlock Towing and U.S. Ecology on the cleanup, troopers said, after about 200 gallons of fuel, oil and anti-freeze spilled from the truck. Also, OSP said, the pavement was gouged in places and needed repair.

Others who assisted OSP included the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Cascade Locks Fire and Purdy’s Towing.

The initial I-84 closure was between Troutdale and Hood River, though ODOT spokeswoman Kacey Davey said early Monday afternoon the closure was updated to stop westbound traffic at The Dalles, to make room for more trucks and other vehicles that need to pull over and wait.

ODOT said vehicles under 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight could use State Route 14 on the Washington side of the Gorge as a detour. It's closed to heavier vehicles between Evergreen Boulevard and the Hood River Bridge.

During the closure, trucks and heavier vehicles could use a detour on U.S. Highway 197 to Oregon Highway 216 and U.S. Highway 26 heading west and the reverse to travel east. ODOT said vehicles also could use Oregon Highway 35 to access Highway 26 but advised it was heavily congested.

Get traffic updates at: KTVZ.COM's TripCheck page.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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