A Coos Bay man received minor injuries Tuesday afternoon when the commercial truck he was driving was blown onto its side by a strong wind gust as it traveled across the Alsea Bay Bridge just north of Waldport. The crash closed three of four lanes on the bridge for about four hours.
According to Oregon State Police at approximately 3:45 p.m. a truck pulling a semi-trailer driven by Donald Carl Eckles, from Coos Bay, was southbound on Highway 101 crossing the Alsea Bay Bridge when a high wind gust tipped the truck and empty semi-trailer onto its left side. The truck and trailer came to rest blocking three of the four lanes. An estimated 80 to 100 gallons of diesel spilled but was quickly contained by ODOT and responding fire agencies. Northwest Fire Fighters responded to the scene for hazardous materials clean up.
Eckles was transported by ambulance to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. He was treated and released for minor injuries.
Eckles told investigating troopers that he was driving about 35 mph across the bridge. He looked in the side mirror and saw the trailer lifting off the roadway just before both vehicles tipped over.
A tow company responded and removed the vehicles from the bridge. During vehicle recovery and removal traffic was restricted to one lane.