In addition to a 60-65 vehicle pile-up on Interstate 5 Wednesday near Eugene that blocked southbound lanes for hours, Oregon State Police say there was a second fatal crash involving two Freightliner trucks and two other vehicles on that same stretch.
OSP said the second crash happened around 2:10 p.m. in the southbound lanes at Milepost 219 as troopers and emergency personnel were already on scene of the crash that happened six hours earlier.
The early investigation found that a Freightliner being driven by a Sacramento man was stopped in the slow lane due to the first crash, according to troopers.
OSP said a second Freightliner, driven by Kirpal Singh, 63, of Yuba City, Calif., collided with the first one and caught fire.
That caused a chain reaction crash in which a Nissan Armada and a Ford Focus were rear-ended.
Singh was killed in the crash, OSP said.
The drivers of the Nissan and the Ford, from Central Point, Ore., and Norway, Michigan, respectively, were not injured. The driver of the first Freightliner was also uninjured.
OSP said I-5 was closed for about eight hours while the scene was investigated.
In the first crash that happened around 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, OSP said 45 passenger vehicles and 15 to 20 commercial vehicles were involved in the pile-up that affected southbound I-5 from milepost 228 to milepost 211. One person was killed.
OSP said the crash completely blocked the southbound lanes. The Oregon Department of Transportation temporarily dropped the cable barrier between the northbound and southbound lanes so vehicles caught in the backup could detour.
School buses from Eugene were brought in to help move 30 to 40 stranded drivers.
The cause of that crash is under investigation, but OSP noted foggy conditions during the morning commute.