Merging car clips trucks front tire, causing accident

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - A semi-truck pulling a 53 foot trailer crashes 49 feet below a freeway ramp at the Interstate 84 and Interstate 5 interchange.Early morning Wednesday, June 19, a man driving a tractor-trailer owned by Troutdale’s Walsh Trucking Company drove over a freeway railing and dropped 49 feet before crashing into the ground below.

At 3:28 a.m., Portland police responded to the crash on I-84 westbound at the I-5 northbound interchange.

Portland Fire and Rescue worked to extract the driver who was pinned inside the cab of the truck pulling a 53-foot cargo trailer.

The truck driver, David Lee Sitton of Arlington, 67, was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, where he remains in serious condition.

Investigators have determined the cause of the accident.

Sitton’s truck was driving in the right lane of a freeway ramp headed northbound on I-5 when a 2009 Nissan suddenly merged in front of him from the left lane.

The Nissan, driven by Jordan-Ashlee Sylvester, 22, collided with the truck’s right front tire, causing the Nissan to swerve right and hit the concrete barrier, and the truck to swerve left and drive up and over a 4-foot railing.

The truck dropped 49 feet below the freeway onto Union Pacific Railroad property, smashing into the ground and damaging one of the railroad company’s office buildings.

Sylvester was not injured during the crash, though a passenger in her car was transported to a Portland hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said Sylvester remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. She was not impaired by drugs or alcohol, they said.

No citations have been issued and the case remains under investigation.

The northbound I-5 ramp from westbound I-84 was closed during the crash investigation, causing significant traffic delay.

Train traffic was unaffected by the crash.

Sitton’s family is requesting privacy at this time, according to a police report.

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