Strong Winds Caused Crash on Yaquina Bay Bridge

NEWPORT, Ore. — It was a stormy day Wednesday in Western Oregon with almost nonstop rain and gusty winds. The winds were especially bad on the coast.

The winds were so strong that they sent a semi truck swerving all over the Yaquina Bay Bridge, trapping a smaller truck between it, and the railing.

It happened around 10:30 Wednesday morning. Winds reaching up to 95 miles per hour in Newport were too much for an empty semi truck.

It veered into oncoming traffic, pinning a pickup truck and its driver.

Rescue crews extricated the pickup truck driver, who wasn’t seriously hurt, but the bridge was closed for several hours.

“Well, driving I see people getting buffeted, blown to the side a little bit, almost losing control so this doesn’t surprise me on the bridge,” said Paul Sears.

Drivers waiting for the bridge to open back up say they haven’t seen a storm quite this strong in decades.

“It’s really crazy, there’s power lines down, there’s telephone lines down, trees down everywhere, roads are closed everywhere,” said Sheena Coleman.

“Seeing a lot of people driving poorly, a lot of trees coming down in front of cars, everybody’s soaked, you get out for a couple minutes you get back in you’re just absolutely soaked to the bone,” said John Mosier.

The anticipation for their turn to cross over was making it even worse.

“It’s really scary just because I know there’s nothing blocking the wind, it’s going to hit the truck on the side, you’re going to have to fight to keep it on and hopefully you don’t run into anything or tip over,” said Crystal Prescott.

The storm also closed Newport schools, kept the bayfront pretty much quiet all day, and debris and large trees sprawled across the road shut down Highway 20 down for a bit.

“We ran into a telephone line, thought it was an electrical line, it was pretty scary because it was across the road, there was no stopping,” said Coleman.

In Toledo, the storm knocked out power for a few hours.

“It actually was another brownout, it would just like flicker, then basically it came back on,” said Martin Van Order.

The bridge opened back up later Wednesday afternoon.

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