- Associated Press - Friday, February 3, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Freezing rain triggered numerous crashes in northwestern Oregon on Friday, including a tractor-trailer pileup just to the east of Portland in the city of Troutdale and a massive wreck on Interstate 5 in Portland that took hours to untangle.

Elsewhere near Portland, a tractor-trailer slid 50 feet down an embankment and a car plunged 30 feet after going of a road.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities or serious injuries from the treacherous weather, the latest round of the region’s most brutal winter in years.

The precipitation began early Friday, bringing snow to the Cascades and much of the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland. Meanwhile, a thin layer of ice coated windshields and Portland-area roads.

The conditions slowed buses, streetcars and light-rail trains during the morning commute. Some flights at Portland International Airport were delayed or canceled. Many schools and government offices either closed or got late starts.

The crash on I-5 happened before 3 a.m. near Capitol Highway, ensnaring more than two dozen cars and semi-trucks. A bus was called in to provide warmth for stranded motorists, but had trouble getting to the scene. The drivers, none of whom was seriously hurt, took shelter in a fast food restaurant.

The state Department of Transportation managed to open several lanes of traffic before dawn.

In the Interstate 84 crash, the Corbett Fire Department said the tractor-trailer went down a 50-foot embankment toward the Columbia River. Crews used a rope system to rescue the driver and passenger, who suffered minor injuries, Assistant Chief Rick Wunsch said.

In Clackamas County south of Portland, firefighters responded to a car that slid off an icy road that has a steep drop off. Clackamas Fire District spokesman Steve Hoffeditz said the vehicle fell 30 feet and landed on a trailer before sliding into someone’s yard.

The woman removed herself from the vehicle and walked to a home. She was taken to a hospital for an evaluation, Hoffeditz said.

The ice storm was not expected to linger. Forecasts called for the temperature in Portland to rise to 40 degrees by late Friday and stay there on Saturday and Sunday.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide