UMATILLA, Ore. — A massive pileup of vehicles on Interstate 84 near Umatilla snarled up traffic for almost 14 hours on Saturday, March 3. The multi-vehice crash happened at about 6:20 p.m., and had westbound lanes closed until 8:00 a.m. the next morning.
Nine drivers and passengers were injured in the incident, according to a statement from Oregon State Police (OSP). Five of them were in serious condition. Their names have not yet been released.
OSP investigators believe that speed and black ice may have been factors in the crash, but the investigation is ongoing. Seven commercial vehicles and 13 passenger vehicles were directly involved in the incident. An OSP statement called the pileup the result of a "domino effect," as drivers were unable to stop quickly enough to avoid ploughing into the cars ahead of them.
Life Flight aircraft and ambulences transported injured parties to St. Anthony's Hospital in Pendleton and Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Wash.
The incident drew response from at least 10 other agencies and organizations in addition to OSP.