It's not clear what sparked the crash, but it was spectacular - with crumpled vehicles facing every which way

DAVID F. ASHTON - After this smashup on northbound McLoughlin Boulevard, near the S.E. 17th intersection, two battered vehicles were pinned to the center Jersey barrier, and a third one was stopped, spun around, facing oncoming traffic. A three-vehicle pileup on McLoughlin Boulevard, opposite S.E. 18th Avenue in north Westmoreland, on the rainy evening of Tuesday, March 1, brought all northbound lanes of traffic to a standstill.

"We were waiting for our order from the 'MAC'D' [restaurant] window, at a picnic table, when we heard a huge crash – it sounded like a cross between an explosion and an accident in a metal factory!" recalled Darren McFoy.

Over the high concrete Jersey barrier McFoy saw the headlights of a car spinning around backward, and an SUV and Dodge RAM pickup truck slamming together before coming to a halt.

At 7:12 p.m., Central Precinct officers and firefighters were dispatched to the crash. Additionally, two ambulances made their way into the area. Due to the stalled heavy traffic, emergency responders had to walk out onto the highway and clear the outside lane, and then block oncoming traffic, in order to begin sorting out the crash.

DAVID F. ASHTON - An officer checked the Vehicle Identification Number of a Dodge RAM truck in the smashup, while balancing atop the Jersey barrier down the middle of State Highway 99E - McLoughlin Boulevard - at S.E. 18th in Westmoreland. Firefighters worked to free pinned-in drivers; and reportedly two persons were taken to local hospitals for medical evaluation and possible treatment.

Eventually, an ODOT Emergency Response vehicle managed to arrive at the accident scene, after traveling through and around the northbound mass of stopped vehicles – which by then were backed up all the way to the City of Milwaukie.

"Right now, we don't believe anyone was seriously injured; and, we're sorting through conflicting accounts of how this accident took place," a police officer remarked to THE BEE. It took a much longer than an hour for northbound traffic on McLoughlin Boulevard – Oregon Highway 99E – to return to some semblance of normality.

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