Semi crash closes I-5 lane

A semi truck carrying bottled water overturned Friday near Interstate 5 milepost 11 around 1 p.m., blocking the slow lane of traffic for several hours.

The driver told rescue workers that he lost control of his brakes and was going approximately 70 miles per hour when he hit the escape route and flipped over, according to Larry Decker, fire captain for Jackson County Fire District 5. The two men in the cab suffered minor injuries and were transported to Ashland Community Hospital, he said. They were listed in stable condition Friday night.

Cleanup crews finished mopping up the 20-gallon diesel fuel spill and removing cases of water around 3:30 p.m., said Gary Leaming, a spokesperson with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

That stretch of road can be particularly hazardous for truck drivers, and Leaming warned all drivers to take precautions when driving over the Siskiyou Pass.

"If the guy was carrying water, that's a pretty heavy load," he said. "Certainly it's a challenge for the truck drivers because you're coming down a 5 percent grade. At one point you've got to reduce your speed down to 45."

Staff writer Julie French can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 or

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