Residents in and around Salem, Oregon have good reason to be concerned about their safety and the safety of those they love when sharing the roads and highways with semi-trucks and other large, commercial vehicles. Over the last several months, the region has witnessed several accidents involving these big rigs that have completely shut down freeways and sent numerous people to the hospital. The reasons for such crashes can vary dramatically from mechanical failure to driver fatigue and more.
In October of 2019, Oregon Live reported on a crash that happened near Woodburn after a trucker and his passenger pulled over onto the shoulder of the freeway after noticing smoke coming from their truck. While the truck was parked in the shoulder so the driver could effectively assess the situation, another trucker came along and hit the first semi with his semi. The resulting fire closed the freeway and resulted in a fuel spill and a life flight transport for one of the truckers.
Just two months later, in December of 2019, the driver of a tractor-trailer was transitioning off of Interstate 5 onto Highway 22. Despite traveling at a slow rate of speed per witness reports, the truck overturned. Reports from the Statesman Journal indicated that the packages being carried in the truck shifted as the driver navigated curves and it was the shifting weight that triggered the overturning.
More recently, in February of 2020, a trucker was heading south on Interstate 5 in Wilsonville when his rig crossed the center line and jackknifed in the northbound lanes. Three other vehicles were involved in the resulting crash and six people were injured. KATU news did not provide any details as to what caused the trucker to move into the oncoming lanes of traffic.