Train Hits Semi-Truck Loaded with Jet Fuel Near Irrigon – Driver Escapes Serious Injury
The Oregon State Patrol reports a semi-truck loaded with 10,000 gallons of jet fuel was hit by a train on Highway 730, which runs from Irrigon alongside the Oregon side of the Columbia River, then up into Washington and connects with Washington Highway 12 at the Wallula Junction.
The truck, driven by 72-year-old Richard T. James of San Antonio, Texas, left the road and rolled down the embankment towards the river. While James was able to escape with only minor injuries, the truck came to a rest on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, and was struck a short time later by a passing train.
Fortunately, the jet fuel did not explode. After an eight-hour closure, Highway 730 reopened. The highway was closed at Wallula Junction and drivers had to go back through Tri-Cities to get to Hermiston on Highway 395.