PENDLETON - A Pendleton Sanitary Service truck tipped over Tuesday morning while turning onto the westbound Interstate-84 on-ramp near exit 207, spilling garbage on the side of the freeway and leaving a foul stench stewing in the hot air.
Coming from Rieth, the garbage trucks must make a sharp right turn after crossing the bridge over the freeway to head west on I-84.
According to Mike McHenry of Pendleton Sanitary Service, the truck was headed to Finley Buttes Landfill just outside Boardman. The driver, Jim Sloan, told McHenry and police that he was not exceeding the speed limit around the turn. McHenry said the truck was apparently top-heavy, causing it to tip as it made the sharp turn.
"I don't have enough evidence right now to say that speed was a factor," said Oregon State Police Trooper Dan Chichester. "The driver said he wasn't going too fast."
Sloan walked away from the accident with just a few abrasions on his arms. OSP responded to the accident at 10:45 a.m., and Chichester said the Pendleton Police Department assisted OSP with closing off the westbound right lane and the on-ramp. The Oregon Department of Transportation took over traffic control shortly thereafter.
ODOT public affairs representative Tom Strandberg said the on-ramp and right lane closed at around 11:15 a.m. and both re-opened at 3:30 p.m., when the clean-up was completed.
Reporter Casey White can be reached at 1-800-522-0255 (ext. 1-227) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.