Accidents slow Astoria-Megler Bridge traffic

A multi-vehicle collision occurred on Astoria-Megler Bridge involving a log truck at about 10 a.m. Friday, May 18. Both lanes were closed until about 12:30, but serious traffic backups resulted.

ASTORIA BRIDGE — A disabled car May 18 on the Astoria Bridge started a chain of events that involved collisions and a two-hour shutdown.

Driving southbound about 10 a.m., the car stopped on the bridge and pulled to the right near the rail. Another driver then stopped to help the stranded car.

A southbound pickup truck hauling a utility trailer came to a stop after approaching the first two cars when a fully loaded log truck came from behind, locked the brakes and rear-ended the pickup. The pickup rotated 180 degrees and was being pushed toward the northbound rail when it struck a moving sport utility vehicle. The northbound sport utility vehicle became wedged between the railing and the pickup truck’s trailer once the cars stopped moving.

Each of the three cars had only the drivers inside, and the two original stopped cars were not involved in the crash. Emergency personnel shut down the bridge for two hours to clear the scene.

While two people were taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital, no serious injuries were reported.

No one was seriously injured in a four-car collision that temporarily blocked one lane of traffic on the Astoria-Megler Bridge on May 16.

The wreck occurred on the northbound side of the bridge at about 9:45 a.m., according to a Washington State Patrol collision report.

Workers for the Oregon Department of Transportation were directing work around a construction project. Richard Chambers, 62 of Ocean Park, Donna Sherman, 57, of Rosburg, and Keene Wright, 50, of Long Beach, stopped when a flagger signaled them to stop. A fourth driver, Renee Hunsinger, 39, of Astoria, was looking at her toddler, who was in the back seat, and did not realize traffic had come to a halt until it was too late.

Hunsinger’s 2005 Toyota 4Runner struck Chambers’ 2018 Toyota Rav4, causing a “chain reaction,” WSP Sgt. Brad Moon said. Chambers, in turn, ran into Sherman’s 2014 Subaru Forester, which hit Keene’s 2013 Kia Soul. The vehicles belonging to Hunsinger, Chambers and Sherman were all towed from the scene.

Hunsinger was not injured. Chambers and Sherman were taken by ambulance to Columbia Memorial Hospital to be checked out for neck and back pain.

Hunsinger was not insured. She was cited for driving without insurance and negligent driving.

One lane of traffic was blocked for about 90 minutes, Moon said, but there were already flaggers on scene, who helped direct traffic until the wreck was cleared up.

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