Josephine County, Ore. — UPDATE: Oregon State Police, as well as firefighters with the Illinois Valley Fire District responded to a reported propane truck crash just after 11 AM on Thursday. Officials say the Blue Star Gas propane truck had driven through three power poles, before hitting a tree on Highway 199, just south of Cave Junction.
Officials got on scene and determined the truck could possibly be leaking propane, so residents in the area were quickly told to stay in their homes. Another Blue Star Gas employee was sent to the scene, and determined the tank was low on propane, and was safe to be around.
“We were working with the actual company that owns the vehicle to find out what was here, how much propane we were looking at, and we worked with their response team,” Jason Bayless said, the PIO of the Illinois Valley Fire District.
Blue Star Gas is flying a safety team up from Sacramento to evaluate the truck. Officials say the driver was found unconscious, and was taken to a local hospital. Police believe he may have suffered a medical problem prior to the crash, and that may have caused the accident.
The highway was closed for two hours. As of Thursday night, the power poles and lines remain down on the side of the road, however the electricity has been turned off. Officials say the lines will be cleared within the next few days.
UPDATE: Highway 199 has been reopened.
ODOT officials say Redwood Highway, at milepost 39, south of Cave Junction, is closed in both directions. Officials say a propane truck crashed into a power pole and is reportedly leaking propane.
Power lines are down and drivers should expect delays. Officials have a shelter in place for residents in the area. It is recommended that residents remain in doors and keep door and windows sealed as a precaution.
Watch for emergency vehicles, law enforcement officials are on their way to scene.
We will have more details as they become available.