Nearly 100 cars and trucks crashed on a one-mile stretch of I-84 in Oregon’s Blue Mountains on Monday afternoon, stranding motorists and closing the interstate overnight, according to the Oregon State Police (OSP).
The OSP initially responded to a pileup of about 20 vehicles near Deadman Pass east of Pendleton shortly after noon.
While on scene, officers were notified of additional crashes and could reportedly hear the scraping metal of more crashes behind them, according to OSP.
The interstate, which is the primary route linking northwestern cities, including Portland, with Salt Lake City and Boise, was closed in both directions for nearly 18 hours.
Three busloads of stranded motorists were transported from the crash site to the Pendleton Convention Center.
Most drivable passenger vehicles were rerouted to Pendleton or La Grande.
Several dozen crashed semis and passenger vehicles remained on the freeway, as well as several dozen blocked semis, with drivers remaining on-site waiting to be towed.
The area was in the midst of a winter storm, with temperatures in the 20s Monday afternoon and single digits overnight, and wind chill near zero. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that nearly 100 disabled vehicles were moved off the roadway overnight and the interstate was reopened Tuesday morning.
“Outstanding response from our tow companies and all who responded, including law enforcement and EMS,” said Marilyn Holt, the department’s District 12 manager. “They got everyone out fast, which made clearing the scene go well.”
Information about injuries was not yet unclear.