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Jun-22-2009 23:33printcomments

Hundreds of Gallons of Hazardous Materials Released in I-84 Commercial Truck Crash

300 to 400 gallons of a hazardous material identified by fire personnel as Chromic Acid Liquid, which becomes an inhalation hazard when mixed with air.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Crash with Hazardous Materials Eastbound I-84 in Oregon 6-22-09
Photo of crash scene courtesy: Oregon State Police

(LAGRANDE, Ore.) - Police say a Tacoma Washington man was seriously injured in a commercial motor vehicle crash on Monday evening on Interstate 84 eastbound west of Baker.

Lt. Dave Macmaniman with Oregon State Police, says Monday at about 5:05 p.m., a 1997 Ford Escort Wagon driven by 19-year old Samantha Marton of Island City, Oregon was eastbound on Interstate – 84 near milepost 292 in the slow lane traveling between 30- 50 miles per hour with the emergency flashers on due to having mechanical problems.

He says a 2007 Kenworth semi truck with a tanker trailer, driven by 57-year old Charles Neudorf of Tacoma, Washington, was also eastbound.

"Neudorf came up behind Martin's vehicle and had to make an evasive maneuver onto the right shoulder to keep from hitting Marton's vehicle. Once on the shoulder the semi truck rolled over one time and the trailer came to rest on its side."

Macmaniman says it was determined by first responders that there was hazardous materials in the trailer.

After fire and EMS personnel secured the scene they extricated Neudorf, who was transported by ambulance to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Baker according to Macmaniman.

"After being stabilized Neudorf was transferred to Saint Alphonsos Hospital in Boise by air ambulance where he is being treated for serious injuries."

The hazardous materials were identified by fire personnel as Chromic Acid Liquid, which becomes an inhalation hazard when mixed with air.

It is estimated that approximately 300-400 gallons spilled onto the shoulder of the roadway.

Macmaniman says Interstate–84 was closed in both directions from milepost 260 at LaGrande to milepost 302 at Baker for nearly four hours.

"At about 8:45 p.m. emergency personnel opened the westbound lanes for traffic. The eastbound lanes remain closed to all truck traffic east of Pendleton."

He says passenger car traffic is being detoured around the scene via Highway 30 between North Powder and Baker.

Members from the Baker and LaGrande Area Commands are continuing their investigation into the crash.

Macmaniman says OSP personnel were assisted at the scene by Baker County Sheriff's Office, Baker Fire Department, North Powder Fire Department, Oregon Department of Transportation, and LaGrande Hazardous Material Team #12.

Updates of the road closure will be posted as new information develops.

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