Overturned log truck clogs I-205, Highway 14

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: September 12, 2012, 9:04 PM

 

An overturned logging truck on Wednesday caused significant backups on one of Clark County’s major interchanges during rush hour.

The truck overturned on the Interstate 205 south ramp to east state Highway 14 at 7:07 a.m.

According to a bulletin from the Washington State Patrol, the truck’s driver, Eugene L. Groves, 34, of Chehalis was speeding when he lost control on the curving ramp.

The truck rolled on its right side and lost a load of logs. Four logs fell off the overpass onto the eastbound Highway 14 ramp to northbound I-205. No major injuries were reported.

Both ramps were blocked as crews removed the logs and the truck, causing a major backup on both freeways.

Although it is impossible to say how many were affected by the crash, WSDOT says about 620 vehicles pass over the ramp from I-205 south to Highway 14 east per hour on Wednesdays between 7 and 10 a.m. Numbers come from a traffic count in November and December 2010, said Joe St. Charles, transportation planner for WSDOT. September volumes may be higher, he said.

The ramp from east Highway 14 to I-205 north gets about 297 vehicles per hour in the same time period on Wednesday mornings, based on counts in June 2010.

Washington State Patrol and the Washington State Department of Transportation and TLC Towing of Ridgefield responded to the crash.

TLC sent five trucks, including one heavy-duty rotating crane truck, to clear the scene, said company representative Richard Lingle. Crews uprighted the truck, moved logs off the road and cleaned up bark dust. They were on the scene for about two hours, Lingle said.

Space was limited and safety was a concern for crews.

“It’s a challenge to be safe,” Lingle said. “We’re on the overpass; we have vehicles down below us.”

Grove, the driver of the truck, suffered a bruise on his head but was not transported to the hospital, the state patrol said. He was cited for negligent driving.