UPDATE: Semi removed from banks of Columbia River
Work crews have removed a semitruck that crashed through a guardrail on westbound Interstate 84 and tumbled downward, landing on its side on the shores of the Columbia River.
Two Oregon Department of Transportation cranes hoisted the truck and trailer in stages from 6 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, hauling the partly-submerged cab from the water and draining the fuel into tanks.
A small boom was also deployed in the water earlier after workers noticed a sheen of gasoline leaking into the river. Workers planned to repair 300 feet of guardrail on Thursday.
Earlier this week, multiple police agencies responded to the crash around 5:15 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, near milepost 23 just east of Corbett.
The truck driver, 52-year-old Suzanne Brault from Quebec, Canada, told police she was checking her side mirror in order to change into the fast lane when she struck a 1995 Chevy Tahoe that was parked on the shoulder because it had run out of gas.
Brault's 2015 International Prostar semitruck and trailer careened through a guardrail and rolled down a "steep embankment" before landing on its passenger side near the shoreline, police say.
The owner of the Tahoe, 53-year-old Patrick Sheehan Jr., and his passenger, 47-year-old Addison Blackmon III, both of Portland, were able to exit the car before law enforcement arrived.
Brault was also able to scramble out of her truck, which was loaded with bags of oats.
Police say Brault was transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center by ambulance for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, while Sheehan and Blackmon were also taken by ambulance to Oregon Health & Science University for treatment of minor injuries.
Daniel Farah, who was driving on I-84 to help his stranded friends, said he was afraid they had died when he arrived on the scene.
"I'll tell you what," Farah told KOIN 6 News, an Outlook media partner, "it's a good thing (Sheehan's) alive. By the grace of God, he's alive."
"I looked across the freeway and (the) rig was mangled," Farah added, referring to the semitruck.
Oregon State Police confirmed Brault checking her side mirror, which caused her to drift onto the shoulder while preparing to change into the fast lane on the freeway.
"Pay attention to the roadway and keep your (eyes) forward so they can stay in their own lane of travel," noted Sgt. Kaipo Raiser.