Driver error caused crash that shut down freeway for hours east of Baker City

By on Friday, March 15th, 2024 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

BAKER COUNTY – The crash that caused a shutdown of I-84 for nearly 16 hours was caused by driver error.

Oregon State Police say  around 9:00am on Wednesday, March 13,  a semi hauling a windmill column eastbound on the freeway failed to negotiate a curve near Ash Grove Cement Plant and crashed into the center concrete carrier, causing the semi and the windmill column to roll over.

The truck and column combination, as well as debris from the concrete barrier, shut down the freeway in both directions from Baker City to Ontario. The eastbound closure was extended to Pendleton, as a large crane had to be transported to lift the massive windmill column.

The driver of the truck, 35-year-old Edward Bifano of Quincy, Washington, was not hurt. He was not cited by OSP.

The freeway was shut down from Baker City to Ontario until 1:00am on Thursday, March 14

The Oregon Department of Transportation, as well as the transportation company that was hauling the column, helped in clearing the scene.