Rescuers look in vain for a survivor in horrendous truck crash on Marine Drive at I-205.

The piles of cargo – crushed cars and trucks –
made the crash scene look even more surreal and rescuers try in vain to find victims …

From above, below and beside the wreck, Portland Fire & Rescue and Portland Police work swiftly, but carefully, to locate the driver, and any other possible victims.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Members of Portland Fire & Rescue Stations 12 and 2 work diligently ‚Äì and carefully ‚Äì to locate the driver of a semi-truck under the hot afternoon sun. It isn’t easy.

The cab of the truck is smashed between the bridge and its load of crushed vehicles, which shifted forward. The scene testifies to the violent nature of this July 7 crash on Marine Dr. at I-205. A fire bureau spokesperson said they wouldn’t give up until they found either survivors or deceased.

It took massive tow trucks to pull the wreckage back from the bridge to look for survivors – or victims.

Why this horrendous wreck occurred is just not clear…but what happened, is.

Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division’s Lt. Mark Kruger informs us eyewitnesses reported that a truck and trailer stacked with crushed cars was westbound on Marine Drive just before noon on Friday the 7th.

For reasons unknown, the westbound truck veered across the highway at NE 112th Ave., crossing into the eastbound lane and jumping the curb. “We don’t see any skid marks,” Kruger tells us, looking at the pavement. “The driver could have fallen asleep, or had a medical problem ‚Äì we just don’t know.”

The truck and trailer jump the curb at NE 112th Avenue, mow down a wooden utility pole, snapping it off cleanly at the base. The rig continues at break-neck speed up the embankment toward the I-205 onramp bridge from westbound Airport Way.

You can see the front wheels of the truck tractor under the bridge. Authorities say the impact of the crash flattened the cab from the front–then the load shifted forward, crushing the cab from behind.

A traffic officer, walking back from a close-up look, told us, “It’s hard to tell what kind of truck it was. The front wheels went just under the bridge, but the cab didn’t. The load of crushed cars came forward and destroyed the cab.”

Power utility, water and communications workers examine the damaged lines and pipes severed in the collision.

ODOT workers told us they didn’t see any major structural damage to the viaduct, but pipes and conduit just under the lip of the bridge were severed or damaged.

Marine Drive remained closed into the evening hours as the body of the driver was removed from scene, the wreckage was cleared, and repairs to the pipes and conduit made.

The deceased driver was subsequently reported as a 49-year-old man from Caldwell, Idaho.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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