Both drivers were hospitalized following a fiery, early morning crash involving a tanker truck loaded with gasoline and a pickup on Highway 26 near Boring Monday.
The collision, which occurred at about 4 a.m. on Highway 26 near Southeast Stone Road, knocked the tanker truck onto its side and sparked a fire, sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the air.
Nearby residents were asked to leave the area, the Clackamas Fire District reported on Twitter.
Clackamas Fire on Twitter: “Clackamasfire along with multiple other fire agencies and law-enforcement are on the scene of a traffic accident involving a tanker truck and a pick up on Highway 26 just east of Gresham. nearby residence have been asked to evacuate. pic.twitter.com/aLlLpTNknv / Twitter”
Clackamasfire along with multiple other fire agencies and law-enforcement are on the scene of a traffic accident involving a tanker truck and a pick up on Highway 26 just east of Gresham. nearby residence have been asked to evacuate. pic.twitter.com/aLlLpTNknv
The evacuation was canceled about an hour later.
According to a preliminary investigation by Oregon State Police, the driver of the Chevrolet pickup, later identified as 22-year-old Blake Welding, of Damascus, failed to observe a stop sign on Stone Road and collided with the tanker, which was headed east on 26.
Both vehicles ended up on the highway’s eastbound shoulder, where fuel erupted from the tanker truck and caught fire, producing dramatic and terrifying images and video shared by first responders and media.
Three Multnomah County deputies arrived on the scene just in time to pull Welding from his vehicle before it erupted into flames, OSP reported. Impairment is being investigated as a contributing factor, police said.
Welding was hospitalized in critical condition, while the operator of the tanker, identified as 40-year-old Mississippi resident Henry Sanders, received minor injuries and was also transported to an area hospital for care.
The drivers were not identified Monday morning but police said their names will be released in a later update.
Highway 26 was expected to remain closed in both directions for several hours, and was still impacted as of 9:30 a.m.
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