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Overpass and truck driver both escape serious injury.

Byline: Christian Wihtol The Register-Guard

A seemingly grievous truck crash into an Interstate 5 overpass in Eugene late Monday night proved to be not that serious after all for either the truck driver or the bridge.

At about 10:10 p.m., a 2000 Peterbilt truck driven by Fred Nelson of Auburn, Calif., was southbound on I-5 with a load of Christmas trees when it went off the road, swivelled sharply and crashed into the Interstate 105 freeway overpass and abutment.

The cab was mashed into the narrow space where the abutment rises up and meets the overpass, trapping Nelson, Oregon State Police said.

I-105's westbound lanes were closed to allow emergency responders to extricate Nelson, police said. The extrication took about an hour.

Nelson was found to have only minor injuries. He was taken to and later released from Scared Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield.

State police on Tuesday said Nelson was not charged.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Transportation checked the overpass and abutment and found only scant and superficial damage, spokesman Rick Little said.

Some concrete was scraped off one beam, but the run-in didn't compromise the integrity of the beam or of the overpass, Little said.

"Which is amazing given what (the crash) looked like," he said.
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Title Annotation:Local News; The driver of a Christmas tree truck is treated and released after the Monday crash along Interstate 5
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 30, 2011
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