Fog and Log Truck Involved in 40 Plus Pile-upby Jana Ritter - Published: 1/16/2014
Idaho State Police continue to investigate the major pileup involving a logging truck and more than 40 other vehicles on Thursday. The crash stemmed from heavy fog and a previous wreck that had emergency responders out on Interstate 84. The driver of a black Subaru tried to avoid the first crash site by moving to the right lane but clipped a silver Subaru instead. A logging truck then hit the black car, causing a chain-reaction crash in the interstate's westbound lanes that included four other tractor-trailers.
But the most serious crash was when log truck driver Cory Ford of Emmett struck several other vehicles as he tried to maneuver through the fog from the far left lane and come to a stop. Ford said that a car and a tractor-trailer cut in front of him right before the crash. He said he felt his truck, which was loaded with logs, strike a car or a truck and then slam into the concrete median. A dozen separate crashes took place during the incident and Idaho State Police on Friday said they were still investigating the pileup,
Meridian, Idaho resident, Silva Cuellar was pulled from his crumpled 2011 Subaru Forester after he collided with the loaded logging truck and his car was dragged 180 feet then rolled several times. Rescue crews spent an hour removing Cuellar from the small SUV, which looked like a large ball as it sat on the pavement, wedged into the front right portion of the log truck trailer. Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said the man sustained serious injuries, but they aren't considered life threatening,
Nine other people were injured at different times during the incident and transported by ambulance to area hospitals. The state police have not released their names and have not provided an update on whether those people are still being treated in area hospitals or have been released. Several drivers were also cited for violation of the basic rule, which requires motorists to drive at a reasonable speed to match conditions. Besides the fog, there was also ice on the freeway that morning.
So far, Cory Ford was not among those cited. Troopers said they wanted additional time to study the circumstance regarding the log truck crash before determining whether to city Ford or not. The 2004 Kenworth logging truck, owned by Brian Wilson Trucking of Emmett, was taken to an ISP tow yard for examination, Wilson said.
State police said most or all of the collisions could have been avoided if people had slowed down in the fog and ice.