Seven vehicle crashes mar the Wednesday morning commute

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Scappoose Rural Fire District Division Chief Chris Lake said the high volume of accidents Wednesday morning tapped the district's resources, requiring it to deploy all three of its engines.A sheet of black ice near Warren caused multiple vehicle crashes early Wednesday morning, some of which resulted in significant injuries, Scappoose Rural Fire District officials said.

The crashes forced the district to deploy all three of its fire engines and to call for support from Columbia River Fire & Rescue.

The black ice resulted in a total of seven crashes in an area known as “Fisher’s Dip,” said SRFD Division Chief Chris Lake. Fisher’s Dip is a short stretch of Highway 30 between Scappoose and Warren.

“Crazy,” Lake said of the ice-related crashes. “It lasted about 45 minutes. It actually melted while we were out there. We were dispatched at 7:02 {a.m.} to multiple vehicle accidents between [Columbia] Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Fullerton Road.”

Lake said the multiple crashes resulted in two injuries. Both of the injured persons were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment, he said. Lake was unable to confirm exactly where the injured drivers were transported.

The first injury, Lake said, was caused by one vehicle sliding into a man standing on the highway who had already crashed his vehicle.

“[Oregon State Police] were on scene and they witnessed one accident where we had an injury. We transported a man who was struck by a vehicle that lost control,” Lake said. “He was in one accident, he spun off the road, stepped out of his vehicle, was talking with OSP and they told him to get back in his vehicle. Another vehicle lost control at that time and struck him.”

Lake said the man’s injuries were not life-threatening, but were significant. OSP transported him to a hospital.

Soon after, another motorist’s vehicle slid across the ice, rolling over and injuring the driver. CRF&R transported the crash victim to a hospital, Lake said.

Aside from the seven vehicle crashes, Lake said the district responded to two incidents wherein walkers had fallen on the ice and sustained injuries.

While the district occasionally responds to black ice-related wrecks, Wednesday morning’s event was particularly significant due to the high amount of crashes, Lake said.

“We usually get a lot of [black ice] up Scappoose-Vernonia Highway,” he said. “Usually people up there are used to it and are a lot more cautious.”

“On the highway, people usually don’t expect it,” Lake continued. “It’s not typical to that level. It didn’t take much. It rained on us a little. The road pretty much cleared up by the time we left the area.”

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