Oregon Department of Transportation has temporarily dropped the cable barrier to try to divert traffic back northbound.  School buses from Eugene have arrived to help transport stranded motorists to Pioneer Villa at exit 216.

Interstate 5 southbound is now open south of milepost 228 and one lane is open south of Albany Wednesday after at least 60 crashes including a fatality, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Police.

Traffic is still being detoured in some spots.

ODOT reported Wednesday afternoon a jackknifed semi-truck had closed I-5 southbound south of U.S. 20 in Albany.

Preliminary investigation revealed at least 15 to 20 commercial vehicles and 45 passenger vehicles were involved, according to Oregon State Police. One death has been confirmed. Information on other injuries has not yet been released.

The first crash was reported at milepost 211 around 8 a.m. The crashes have occurred in heavy fog conditions.

School buses from Eugene have arrived on scene to help get the 30 to 40 stranded drivers to Pioneer Villa at exit 216. The Department of Environmental Quality and HAZMAT were on scene to control fluid leakage from approximately six vehicles.

OR 228 Halsey-Brownsville exit will be closed for an extended period.

Northbound lanes remain open. ODOT is advising drivers to drive with caution and watch for emergency responders.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has temporarily dropped the cable barrier to try to divert traffic back northbound.  School buses from Eugene have arrived to help transport stranded motorists to Pioneer Villa at exit 216.

Dejania Oliver is the breaking news reporter for the Statesman Journal. Contact her at DAOliver@salem.gannett.com or follow on Twitter @DejaniaO.





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