Two drivers were killed in an at least 60-vehicle pileup on Interstate 5 southbound near Albany Wednesday, according to Oregon State Police.
A preliminary investigation showed a Freightliner CMV was stopped in the slow lane due to an earlier crash, state police said in a news release.
A Freightliner operated by Kirpal Singh, 63, of Yuba City, Calif., collided with the stopped CMV and caught fire.
This caused a chain reaction rear-ending of a Nissan Armada and a Ford Focus. Singh sustained fatal injuries. The drivers of the two cars and stopped CMV were uninjured.
The crash was the second chain-reaction crash on a 10-mile stretch on Interstate 5 within six hours, which occurred in heavy fog conditions.
The first crash was reported at milepost 211 around 8 a.m. Police on Friday said Phillip Frye, 29, of Portland, died during the first multi-vehicle crash. Four others were taken to area hospitals, with one person in serious condition.
In all, at least 15 to 20 commercial vehicles and 45 passenger vehicles were involved, state police said.
School buses from Eugene helped take 30 to 40 stranded drivers to Pioneer Villa at exit 216. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and HAZMAT were on scene to control fluid leakage from about six vehicles.
Interstate 5 was closed for about eight hours while state police investigated.
Police said the total numbers of vehicles impacted may never be known. After dropping the cable barrier that allowed drivers to travel north on I-5, many vehicles from the crash area drove through the open barrier and left the scene.
Tracy Loew covers the environment at the Statesman Journal. Send comments, questions and tips email@example.com, 503-399-6779. Follow her on Twitter at@Tracy_Loew