January 13, 2009
A dense fog caused accidents that lead to a Herbert Produce semi-trailer to block both lanes of traffic on U.S. highway 101 two miles north of Yachats, which created a 20-vehicle pileup that killed seven and injured more than 30 Tuesday around 8 p.m.
The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates the highway will be cleared by this afternoon. The current detour requires 40 minutes to return to U.S. 101.
Lieutenant Sara Marshall claims this is the worst weather-related accident in the past 30 years. Visibility was reportedly less than 10 feet. Oregon State meteorologist Bernard Sims predicted fog development yesterday after warm costal fronts brought temperatures to low 30s.
Nine remain in serious condition, and all injured parties were taken to Newport’s Northwest Trauma Center. Names of the deceased are withheld until further notification.
Additional information on highway conditions can be found at http://www.tripcheck.com.