Foggy Interstate 5 crashes near Halsey-Brownsville exit snarl traffic

At least one person is dead following multiple collisions in heavy fog Wednesday morning, Oct. 19, on Interstate 5.

The crashes have closed the interstate’s southbound lanes at milepost 16, the OR 228 Halsey-Brownsville exit.

Oregon State Police troopers responded to the incident at around 8 a.m.

Police said that some 15 to 20 commercial and 45 passenger vehicles are reported to be involved. The Department of Environmental Quality and HAZMAT are working with approximately six of the commercial vehicles, which are leaking fluids onto the roadway.

One fatality has been confirmed, police said.

Interstate 5 southbound is blocked with a detour in place. The northbound lanes are open but moving slowly. The Oregon Department of Transportation has temporarily dropped the cable barrier to detour vehicles caught in the gridlock. School buses from Eugene are moving 30 to 40 stranded motorists to Pioneer Villa at exit 216.

The freeway is expected to be closed most of the day for investigation and cleanup.

Several public safety agencies, including the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, are assisting. Members of the Oregon State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit are also on scene.

Drivers are advised to practice extra caution through the area, take alternate routes and watch for emergency responders.

For current information about detours and when the roadway will be reopened, call 511 or http://www.tripcheck.com.