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OSP says DUII charges are being referred to the district attorney's office against Blake Welding, 22

Blake Welding, 22, of Damascus has been identified as the driver of a Chevy pickup involved in a collision with a tanker truck, causing a fire on Highway 26 and closing the highway between Gresham and Sandy for most of the day Monday, Aug. 29.

The tanker driver, who avoided serious injury, has been identified as Henry Sanders, 40, of Mississippi.

Investigation by law enforcement concluded that around 3:55 a.m. Aug. 29, Welding reportedly failed to yield to oncoming traffic when entering Highway 26 from Stone Road going eastbound. He then collided with a tanker, causing the commercial truck to spout fuel which burst into flames. Three Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies were able to pull Sanders out of the tanker before it was engulfed in flames.

Law enforcement agencies have referred DUII charges against Welding to the district attorney's office as impairment is suspected as a contributing factor in this crash.

Welding was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. Sanders sustained minor injuries but was also transported.

There have been no further updates on Welding's condition.

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