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Jan-13-2008 01:47printcomments

Out of Control Semi Slams Into Several Others Saturday on I-5 South of Ashland

Only one truck driver received injuries in the multiple truck crash and they were not life threatening.

Crash scene Saturday on I-5 near Ashland, Oregon
Crash scene Saturday on I-5 near Ashland: Oregon State Police
Full size photos below story.

(ASHLAND, Ore.) - Interstate 5 northbound in the Siskiyou pass south of Ashland was been partially closed for several hours Saturday following a multi-truck crash. The crash also led to several thousand pounds of produce spilled onto the freeway, police say.

Oregon State Police Sgt. Mark Byrd said that around 1:10 PM Saturday, a 2000 Freightliner commercial truck pulling a 48-foot trailer operated by 55-year old Jose Franco Castillo of Desert Hot Springs, California, was northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 10 traveling downhill when it lost its brakes.

Castillo attempted to drive between a 2002 Freightliner truck pulling a 53-foot trailer driven by 34-year old Timothy Allen Gaubatz of Shelton, Washington, and another commercial truck driven by 22-year old Ravinder Singh of Salem, Oregon. Both drivers said they had seen Castillo's truck and trailer approaching from behind out of control and attempted to move to the highway shoulder to avoid Castillo's nearly out of control semi.

Police say Castillo attempted to pass between the other two commercial trucks but collided with them causing Gatorade and produce to spill out onto the highway.

A fourth commercial truck driven by 36-year old Jason Lee Kohl of Bellvue, Washington, was also northbound and came upon the crash. Kohl attempted to steer onto the shoulder but his right side mirror hit the side of Gaubatz's truck.

Northbound traffic was diverted to the highway shoulder until one lane was re-opened. Officers on scene say seven hours after the crash, the highway was still down to one lane of travel for an indefinite period of time.

Gaubatz was transported by ambulance to Ashland Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The other operators received minor injuries only. All operators were using safety restraints.

Oregon State Police troopers from the Central Point Area Command office are continuing their investigation. Castillo was cited for Careless Driving.

Oregon State Police troopers were assisted by ODOT, local fire department personnel, Ashland EMS and several tow companies.

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RW99003 January 14, 2008 12:00 am (Pacific time)

I was on the road when this happened. The produce truck driver didn't stop at the summit to check his brakes. The brakes were smoking within a mile after the summit. I was alarmed when he didn't take the runaway truck ramp. a few minutes after the initial accident, the fourth truck, driven by Kohl, came up behind us, brakes smoking, going about 20 or 30 mph and hit the other two, directly in front of us. The produce truck driven by Castillo finally stopped about 800 feet down the road.

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