Icy conditions contributed to at least four traffic crashes Friday morning along Interstate 84 in the Ladd Canyon area east of La Grande. In one crash a pickup struck an unoccupied Oregon State Police patrol car and a La Grande Rural Fire District vehicle.
According to an OSP news release, at 8:20 Friday morning OSP and La Grande area fire and ambulance personnel responded to a crash in the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near Milepost 270. Emergency responders arrived at the top of a westbound onramp and parked their vehicles to check for injuries and start the investigation.
An OSP trooper parked his patrol car off the travel lanes between the westbound traffic lane and freeway onramp. The trooper was out of the car and talking to a driver involved in the crash when the driver of a westbound pickup towing a trailer lost control. The trailer flipped onto its side, separated from the pickup and slid into the driver side of the state patrol car. The pickup struck the left front corner of a La Grande Rural Fire District vehicle and rolled onto its side.
The pickups driver, William S. Hardrath, 24, from Baker City, was not injured. OSP wrote him a ticket for careless driving.
The driver in the first crash suffered minor injuries. An ambulance took the person to a local hospital.
No emergency responders were injured in the wrecks.
Authorities closed one westbound lane for about an hour during the investigations and scene clearance.
The log from the OSP center in Pendleton shows icy condictions has played a role in other crashes this week along I-84.
Wednesday, an Elgin man crashed at 9 p.m. near Milepost 236. The driver was eastbound, the log entry said, and going too fast for the icy roadway when he lost control of the 2006 Ford Taurus, drove across median and skidded across both westbound lanes. The vehicle rolled off the shoulder and came to rest on its top. The driver, though, was not harmed.
During Thursdays early morning hours, state troopers responded to three crashes on I-84 in the eastbound lanes between mile markers 226 and 232, and icy roads were a factor in each.
The first crash was at 12:35 a.m. near Milepost 223 when a Caldwell, Idaho man driving a 2007 Chevy Impala tried to pass a semi. The Impala lost control on the ice and slid under the semi, OSP reported. All involved refused medical treatment, the entry said, and the Impalas driver received a ticket for failing to drive in a single lane.
Then at 5:40 a.m. a man from Cosmopolis, Wash., crashed a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer near near Milepost 232. The log entry said he was not injured after losing control of the vehicle on the icy surface and rolling the pickup onto the shoulder of the road.
About 45 minutes later, another man crashed a Ford F-150 pickup near Milepost 226 because of extremely icy conditions, the entry noted. The driver suffered minor injuries.
OSP and the Oregon Department of Transportation provided these tips for driving in winter weather:
Be prepared and watchful for changing highway conditions.
Inspect your vehicle before you get on the road. Make sure your wipers, lights, battery, tires and brakes are working properly.
Allow more time to reach your destination. In severe weather, closures and crashes can cause long delays.
Drive cautiously and wear your safety belt.