Jackknifed semi-truck on black ice causes massive crash on I-84

The images are shocking.

The first collision was between a jackknifed semi-truck, and a passenger truck driven by Kaleb Whitby.

His vehicle spun around and flipped upon hitting the semi-truck, and he could see another tractor-trailer coming directly at him.

Saturday’s semi-truck pile-up in Eastern Oregon involved between 50 and 70 cars, according to Oregon State Police.

Dangerous driving on black ice

“Black ice” is a thin coating of glazed ice on the roadway surface.

It forms from freezing rain, or melting ice and snow, when the temperature is within a couple degrees of freezing. In colder conditions, black ice will form on the highways because of the heat caused by tires on the road.

Driving on black ice is notoriously dangerous.

Tractor-trailer drivers are trained to:

  • Pay close attention to the road and weather;
  • Brake and accelerate slowly in icy conditions;
  • Watch for signs of black ice, such as ice build-up on mirror arms, antenna or the top corners of the windshield.

The stretch of I-84 where Saturday’s jackknifed semi-truck crash occurred is on a slight hill with a curve.

The Oregon State Police will have to investigate the causes of each collision.

Amazingly, no fatalities were reported. Several people were hospitalized with serious injuries.

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