Driver of semi-truck killed after an accident on Highway 58 near Salt Creek Tunnel

This happened 11 miles East of McCredie Springs on Highway 58.

Posted: Jun 27, 2021 2:01 PM
Updated: Jun 28, 2021 9:57 AM

OARKRIDGE, Ore.--- A driver of a semi-truck was killed in a crash on Highway 58, Oakridge Fire said.

The driver was identified as Joe Wright, 57, of Silverton.

Officials said this happened 11 miles East of McCredie Springs and less than a mile from Salt Creek Tunnel around 12:20 p.m on Sunday.

The semi-truck was reportedly carrying plants, shrubs and trees. 

It is unclear how the accident happened, officials said.

One of the witnesses on the scene was Kaitlin Vollmer. She said her husband, Max Vollmer, and friends, Chris Matley and Myah Garcia, saw the semi-truck go over the embankment and immediately called 911.

"We went down there and then we started smelling gas really bad," Vollmer said. "Everyone was freaking out because they didn't want us to go down there but if he was alive we knew we had to."

Vollmer said after 15 minutes of searching with her friends and family, they saw his body.

"The only thing that was showing was his feet," Vollmer said. "You could see some of his skin and it was colorless."

Vollmer said she is in mourning after this experience.

"His family is in our thoughts and prayers," Vollmer said. "We are so deeply sad. No one deserves this."

Officials said about 50 feet of the guard rail had been destroyed and part of the roadway and hillside had broken away. A towing company will be removing the semi-truck over the next couple nights, they said.

Oakridge Fire & EMS, Central Cascade Fire, Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Transportation repsonded to the crash.

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