‘Inside-lane passing’ squashes car under semi trailer

All who saw it say this crash is unusual, and the result could have been much more tragic …

Eastbound traffic is closed down in SE Foster Road, after a car and three-trailer ‘semi’ rig collide.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Companies typically assign their most experienced drivers, with the best safety records, to drive trucks pulling three semi trailers.

But, it appears as if truck-driver expertise could not prevent an unusual collision in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood on March 26 which summoned emergency responders to SE Foster Road near 116th Avenue.

A police officer talks with those involved at the scene of this unusual smashup.

A witness told East Portland News he’d been driving eastbound on SE Foster Road, and noticed the Franz Bakery triple-trailer rig ahead of him slowing down, signaling to make a right-hand turn into the distribution warehouse at the east end of the Franz Bakery Outlet Store, at 11540 SE Foster Road.

To make the tight turn into the narrow driveway, the big truck had moved partway into the lane farthest away from the curb.

The car is tightly wedged under the edge of the semi trailer.

“It looked to me like the driver of the white car sped up, trying to get past the truck as it turned,” the witness, who declined to give his name said. “The car hit the center [second] trailer really hard.”

The impact was so severe, the airbags deployed in the four-door sedan.

Officials and wrecking crews discuss how to untangle the damaged vehicles.

Police records indicate that no citations were issued – and that no one was injured severely enough to be transported from the scene for medical care, which often seems to be the tipping point for the writing of traffic collision citations in Portland.

Nonetheless, the mess took quite a while to clean up before Foster Road opened again.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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