Fog and slick conditions contributed to a 12-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 26 involved two semitrucks and trailers, among other vehicles, on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Two people were taken to St. Charles Madras with moderate to serious injuries, said Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Charles Lindberg.
One of the trucks was a J.B. Hunt Marlin transport, and it was hauling about 10,300 pounds of jet fuel. It rear-ended another J.B. Hunt semitruck, he said.
The fuel tank driver was trapped, but Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 crews were able to get him out before a fire started in the cab, which firefighters then put out.
The crashes were reported shortly after 8 a.m., and the highway was still closed at 12:30 p.m. A detour was in place.
A leak in the jet fuel trailer spilled about 200-300 gallons of fuel, said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Peter Murphy.
JCFD also stopped the leak.
"It is relatively small, but nonetheless it has an impact," Murphy said. SMAF Environmental is contracting with ODOT to clean up the spill, and the highway will remain closed until the cleanup is complete. Murphy did not have an estimate of how long it would take.
Lindberg said the cause is still under investigation.
"There was a vehicle that spun out and crashed prior to the semi rear-ending the other semi," Lindberg said. "It was just complete black ice with fog and poor visibility."
JCFD, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Madras Police Department, Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services and a Warm Springs ambulance responded.
Lindberg said JCEMS had one ambulance tied up with another crash, so Warm Springs also sent an ambulance.
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