ALBANY, Ore. — Seven people were killed and others hurt in a crash involving multiple vehicles Thursday on Interstate 5 near Albany, Oregon, police said.
Oregon State Police said in a statement that officers responded at about 2:05 p.m. to the crash involving two semi trucks and a passenger vehicle in the northbound lanes about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Albany near the Santiam rest area. Seven adults died and multiple people were injured, police said.
Police did not specifically say how many others were hurt.
The passenger vehicle involved was a van, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported.
The Marion County medical examiner was at the scene, and bodies covered in plastic could be seen in a nearby field. A Life Flight helicopter left the scene at about 2:45 p.m., the newspaper reported.
Police and fire officials put a blue tarp on the wrecked van and placed a barrier near one of the trucks to block the view of the scene, the newspaper said.
A witness told the Statesman Journal it appeared the van had been crushed between the two trucks.
“Judging by the damage, it looked like the van was sandwiched,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “It got hit very hard.”
He described to the newspaper two Life Flight helicopters landing nearby and taking people away while paramedics treated others on the ground.
The cause of the crash was under investigation. State transportation officials said the northbound lanes of I-5 were closed and a detour would be set up into Thursday evening.
Albany is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Portland. I-5 is the main north-south interstate highway on the West Coast.