The seven fatalities and several injuries occurred Thursday(18 May 2023) afternoon in a rural area of western Oregon along Interstate 5.
The Oregon State Police released a statement saying that at around 2:05 p.m., they responded to an incident involving two semi trucks and a passenger vehicle in the northbound lanes about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Albany, close to the Santiam rest area.
Police reported seven adult fatalities but could not say how many were injured. The Albany Democrat-Herald stated that a van was the involved passenger car.
KTVZ NewsChannel 21 also tweeted about the accident on Interstate 5 in Oregon.
BREAKING NEWS/TRAVEL ALERT: Seven adults were killed and several other people were injured this afternoon in a crash involving two semi-trucks and a car on northbound Interstate 5 north of Albany, Oregon State Police say. https://t.co/oEfUFmHxYC
— KTVZ NewsChannel 21 (@KTVZ) May 19, 2023
The medical examiner for Marion County was present, and the newspaper reported seeing several bodies wrapped in plastic in a neighboring field. At at 2:45 p.m., a Life Flight helicopter took off from the area.
According to the Democrat-Herald, police and fire officials blocked the area by placing a blue tarp over the damaged van and a barrier in front of one of the vehicles.
A witness informed the Statesman Journal that the van seemed to have been crushed between the trucks. “Judging by the damage, it looked like the van was sandwiched,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “It got hit very hard.”
Gonzalez told the paper that two Life Flight helicopters arrived and whisked passengers away while paramedics treated others on the ground. The reason of the accident was being looked into at the time.
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State transportation officials reported that all northbound lanes of Interstate 5 were closed and that drivers would need to take a detour. Approximately 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Portland, Albany is located between Salem and Eugene. The West Coast’s primary north-south interstate is the 5 (I-5).
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