NEAR WOLF CREEK, Ore. — Oregon State Police say a semi-truck driver who drifted out of his lane fatally hit a road worker.
Troopers say the driver was unaware anyone had been killed and noticed the damage on his semi half a mile from the crash scene. Troopers say it happened around 1 p.m. on Interstate 5 near milepost 76. They say a semi-truck hit a Knife River Corporation truck with a small trailer attached to it.
“The truck hit the trailer and the truck. And we believe the trailer came around and possibly hit the employee,” said Sgt. Jeff Proulx.
The impact killed the employee who was breaking down a sign on the opposite side of the guard rail. OSP is still interviewing the driver and inspecting the semi-truck for any mechanical problems.
Knife River released a statement regarding the crash. A spokesman said, “This is an absolute tragedy. Our heartfelt thoughts and our prayers are with our employee, our employee’s family and with our Knife River team. Out of respect for our co-worker’s family, we are not going to release a name until family members have been notified. We shut down our operations on I-5 today so we can talk to our team members and give them time with their families.”
OSP is waiting to release the name of the employee who died in the crash but say she is a 60 year-old Trail resident. The driver of the semi-truck could face charges of criminally negligent homicide or manslaughter.
Knife River says it plans to bring in counselors to its Medford job site Thursday morning to help other employees cope with the loss.