RICE HILL — Two people were injured when a dump truck hauling a backhoe left Interstate 5 and hit a tree at Rice Hill on Saturday morning.
Alan Iverson, 30, of Kelso, Wash., was driving north at about 10:15 a.m. when the 1997 Kenworth dump truck left the freeway at Milepost 148 north of Oakland, according to the Oregon State Police.
The impact caused the trailer to disconnect and skid downhill toward southbound traffic. The trailer didn’t cross the barrier, but several minor collisions occurred as southbound drivers swerved to avoid the out-of-control trailer and backhoe sliding downhill, OSP Lt. Doug Ladd said.
Iverson was flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield. His condition was not available Saturday evening.
His passenger, Douglas White, 61, of North Bend was driven by ambulance to Sacred Heart, where he was listed in serious condition.
Northbound lanes were blocked for more than an hour as Oregon Department of Transportation workers soaked up 30 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled.
OSP is still investigating the accident, but Ladd said weather and alcohol are not suspected as contributing factors. Traffic was light at the time, and the pavement was dry.
Ladd said the first person to render aid at the scene was a certified nurse who happened to be driving nearby. The woman left before authorities could get her information, Ladd said.
Iverson and White were wearing seat belts, police said.
• You can reach reporter Garrett Andrews at 541-957-4218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.