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Pickup truck towing trailer causes pileup on I-205

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO The back of a Dodge sedan was crunched in a four-vehicle accident on I-205 when the driver of a pickup truck pulling a large trailer loaded with two bulls was unable to stop when traffic slowed.

Two people were injured in a four-vehicle accident on Interstate 205 last week.

The accident happened in the southbound lanes at Highway 43 in West Linn during evening rush hour March 22.

West Linn Police Sgt. Neil Hennelly said the driver of a pickup truck pulling a large trailer loaded with two bulls was unable to stop as traffic slowed.

As a result, he said, the truck slammed into the back of a Dodge sedan, pushing the sedan into an SUV carrying a family on its way home from a skiing vacation. The SUV then collided with a Honda in front of it.

The Dodge sedan took the brunt of the force, Hennelly said.

Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue spent 10 to 15 minutes sawing the roof off of the car because the doors were too damaged to open. The Dodge's driver and single passenger were treated for trauma at the scene and taken to Legacy Meridian Park Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Hennelly said.

No one else was injured, he said, but the incident snarled traffic for hours, as responders had to close the southbound lanes and detour traffic until about 7 p.m. while cleaning up the mess.

In addition to the West Linn Police Department and TVF and R, responders included Oregon State Police, Oregon Department of Transportation, two ambulances with American Medical Response, and three towing companies, Hennelly said. A nurse who was not involved in the accident also climbed out of her car to help administer first aid.

State police cited the pickup driver for traveling in the fast lane while towing a trailer, which isn't allowed unless the vehicle is actively passing another car, Hennelly said.

He offered some words of advice for car commuters.

'Especially in rush-hour traffic, make sure you have enough distance between you and the car you are following,' Hennelly said. 'Always be aware of what's coming up behind you.'