The delay forced ODOT to open a seven-mile detour, but not before cars started driving the wrong way on the interstate, just to get around the crash. A few early morning commuters, not waiting for officials to clear the crash on I-5, chose to drive the wrong way, north on the southbound shoulder. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen people turn around and drive back up the shoulder,” said Charles Disney, who was stuck in the traffic jam caused by the wreck.
Police were called to mile-post 51, just north of Rogue River, before 5:00 Friday morning. Once on scene, they determined a semi-truck had overturned, and two cars subsequently crashed into it, completely blocking southbound lanes.
Assistant District Manager for ODOT, Jeremiah Griffin said, “It was quite a mess, and so unfortunately both lanes, all lanes were closed, and we had to detour traffic from mile-post 55, or Exit 55, to Rogue River Exit 48.”
Oregon State Police say five people were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries.