Repairs to I-84 ramp to I-5 begin tonight after earlier crash

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Updated: June 19, 2013, 2:09 PM

 
photoInvestigators and first responders look over the site a rollover crash involving a semitrailer truck on Wednesday in Portland.

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PORTLAND — Oregon officials say they’ll restripe a Portland freeway interchange where a big rig plunged about 50 feet into a parking lot Wednesday, seriously injuring the driver.

A commercial tractor-trailer fell about 60 feet after it collided with another vehicle on Interstate 84 at the northbound on-ramp to I-5. The crash, which was reported at 3:28 a.m., caused the big rig to roll off of the ramp and onto a parking lot below, police said.

The driver of the rig was transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash was not injured and remained at the scene, police said.

The Oregonian reported the hospitalized driver talked to investigators. He was identified as 67-year-old David Lee Sitton of Arlington.

Portland police say a car switched lanes and hit the semitrailer’s front tire.

It happened at a Y where Interstate 84 traffic can take a ramp to Interstate 5 north.

Highway officials say a striped line allows cars to change lanes and causes confusion, something they’ve planned for years to fix. Plans call for making it a solid stripe this summer.

Rescuers spent half an hour extricating Sitton. No citations were immediately issued.

Oregon Department of Transportation crews will begin work on replacing 150 feet of railing and making repairs to the barriers. The ramp from westbound I-84 to northbound I-5 will be closed from 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday.

If crews do not complete the work by Thursday morning, a similar closure will take place on Thursday night.