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Fatal Commercial Truck and Fire - Interstate 5 south Wilsonville area
12/28/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police troopers investigating Sunday morning's commercial truck crash and tanker fire have completed the on scene investigation and tentatively identified the lone victim. Next of kin have been notified. ODOT personnel will remain on scene to help coordinate wreckage removal while the southbound on ramp from Wilsonville will remain closed until completed.
 
On December 28, 2008 at approximately 2:45 a.m. a report was received of an explosion near Interstate 5 in the south Wilsonville area. Fire personnel from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVFR) responded and found a commercial tanker truck and trailer fully engulfed about 70 feet west of the southbound lanes near trees. TVFR pulled back from the fire and let it burn until it was safe to approach and extinguish it. Some trees in the area caught fire.
 
Oregon State Police (OSP), Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and ODOT personnel responded. Freeway traffic was closed in both directions with a detour established for approximately 5 1/2 hours. One southbound lane remained closed and will be re-opened shortly.
 
After the fire was extinguished and the crash scene determined safe for troopers to begin investigating, the partial remains of the driver was found in the overturned truck. With the assistance of Reinhard Petroleum LLC company representatives, the victim is tentatively identified as WILLIAM NEIL ADAMS, age 56, from Scappoose.
 
ADAMS was reportedly operating a tanker truck pulling a tanker trailer loaded with approximately 10,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline. The tankers were loaded at the Highway 30 fuel terminal in Linnton and enroute to Salem.
 
The preliminary investigation indicates the commercial tanker truck and tanker trailer were southbound when, for an unknown reason, it drifted onto the right shoulder and onto an ice berm. The truck and trailer continued approximately 70 feet off the freeway and overturned, catching fire. The tanker truck and tanker trailer were extensively damaged by the fire.
 
OSP troopers from the Portland and Tualatin offices are continuing the investigation. TVFR, ODOT, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, and Clackamas County Medical Examiner's Office assisted at the scene.
 
Questions regarding fire response should be directed to TVFR.