According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant Pat Shortt, on March 4, 2011 at approximately 3:25 p.m. a commercial truck pulling two tanker trailers was eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 63. The truck's driver, Eric D. Christiansen, age 58, from Vancouver, lost control possibly due to an equipment problem on one of the trailers. The vehicles came to an initial rest teetering over the right shoulder guardrail.
Uninjured, Christiansen got out of the truck before it continued down an embankment and stopped against several trees. The front trailer was ruptured but it appears a small amount of diesel leaked because the hole was above the diesel level in the tank.
OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office, Hood River Fire Department, and ODOT responded to the scene. OSP's investigation is continuing.
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into an early Thursday morning fatal crash that resulted in the death of a commercial truck driver along the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near Rufus.
According to OSP Lieutenant Pat Ashmore, preliminary information indicates on March 3, 2011, at approximately 12:04 a.m. a 48-year old commercial truck driver from California died after he stopped the 1996 Freightliner truck he was driving and walked back along the freeway shoulder to look for an axle and two tires that came off the truck near milepost 113.
A 2008 Ford F250 pickup traveling through the area reportedly struck the axle and two tires lying in the left westbound lane, causing the equipment to hit the victim. The victim went over a guardrail and about 200 feet down an embankment where he was found deceased.
The pickup's driver, Donny D. Barton, 51, from Longview, was not injured.
OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office are continuing the investigation. ODOT assisted at the scene.
The right eastbound lane was closed for about 4 hours during the scene investigation.