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2-vehicle crash in Deer Island closes highway, damages tracks

Pickups involved in wreck; one came to rest atop railroad tracks


by: COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE & RESCUE COURTESY PHOTO - Firefighters respond to the scene of a wreck on Highway 30 Monday, Feb. 24, in Deer Island. A Toyota Tundra pickup truck, one of two vehicles involved in the crash, rolled over and came to a stop on the railroad tracks alongside the highway.A crash on Highway 30 near the Deer Island Store damaged a utility pole and sent a pickup truck onto the Portland & Western Railroad tracks Monday, Feb. 24.

Columbia River Fire & Rescue Chief Jay Tappan said two pickups were involved in the crash Monday afternoon, shortly after 3:30 p.m.

“There were no injuries, which is pretty amazing considering the amount of damage to the two vehicles,” said Tappan at the crash scene.

An initial bulletin from the Oregon State Police referred to the incident as an “injury crash.” Highway 30 was closed after the wreck, although Tappan said within about an hour, one lane reopened to allow traffic through.

P&W crews were able to repair the tracks and return them to service quickly.

“There was no interruption of train service,” said Shannon Elston of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., which owns the P&W short line. “There was minimal damage, which has already been repaired.”

A spokeswoman for the Columbia River People's Utility District, which provides electricity in the area, said a guide wire, which is meant to tether a utility pole to an anchor in the ground, was knocked loose and the pole itself was damaged and had to be replaced.

“The accident broke a guide wire and it was laying in the highway,” said Libby Calnon.

No PUD customers lost power as a result of the wreck, Calnon said, although Tappan said Tuesday one house did lose power for about two hours before it was restored.

The vehicles involved were a Toyota Tundra and a Ford F-series pickup, Tappan said.

“The Tundra rolled and/or flipped at least once and ended-up on the elevated tracks — it traveled quite a distance to get there!” Tappan wrote in an email Tuesday summarizing the crash.