Motorists broil, when wreck stalls freeway traffic

Really, this mishap wasn’t a big deal – unless you were in one of the vehicles lined up for miles, after it took place …

Crews from Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 11 and an AMR ambulance assess the victims for injuries after this crash on I-205.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It didn’t appear to be much of a smashup on Interstate 205 around noon on July 25.

But, northbound I-205 traffic came to a standstill when a semi-truck and car tangled, just north of the Foster Road onramp – under the “Lent School Pedestrian Bridge” that links the Lents Neighborhood in that area.

It’s unclear how it started, but the result of the wreck was a white four-door sedan stopped crosswise in the center lane, with a big rig right behind it – and a compact car on the left shoulder.

Fighting their way into traffic determined to bypass the wreck, PF&R Engine 11 leaves the scene accident scene.

Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 11 crew blocked traffic, and an AMR ambulance was on scene. But, from a distance, there didn’t appear to be seriously injured patients – a fact later confirmed by a Fire Bureau spokesman who said there was one minor injury.

But, as the temperature rose into the mid 80s, northbound traffic backed up for about three miles, past the Sunnyside interchange.

Drivers of these southbound I-205 vehicles have no reason to slow down to crawl speed – other than to gawk at a relatively minor wreck.

And, inexplicably – because the damage appeared to be relatively minor – southbound traffic soon stacked up to “slow-and-go” conditions back through mid-County to the Airport interchange as “lookie Lou” drivers gawked the wreck.

Official information regarding this wreck remains unavailable; we’ll update the story when we get the facts.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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