SEASIDE, Ore. – Investigators have identified the people involved in the multi-vehicle crash on Highway 26 that shut down lanes in both directions at milepost 24 for about 4 hours Tuesday.
The chain reaction crash developed after a pickup slammed into an oncoming truck, according to Oregon State Police. Investigators said alcohol may have been a factor.
At approximately 9 a.m. Tuesday, a Toyota pickup truck driven by McKenzie Fidler, 29, of Gresham, crossed the center line near the Quartz Street Bridge and crashed into an eastbound GMC pickup, police said.
Fidler was then rear-ended by a passenger car and pushed into an oncoming tanker truck.
The GMC pickup then caught fire with driver John Olsen, 75, and his wife Jerrie Olson, 70, of Astoria inside, according to Sgt. Dennis Thomas of the OSP.
A number of good Samaritans jumped in to help.
More: Heroes rush in to help victims
"I grabbed the fire extinguisher off the tanker truck and tried to put out the fire," said witness Chris Weller. "I'm just lucky that myself and a couple other people were there who were reacting and helping."
Witnesses pulled the Olsons and Fidler from their vehicles.
The Olsons and Fidler were taken by ambulance to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital in Portland. John Olson had critical injuries, according to Thomas.
Investigators believe that alcohol use by Fidler may have been a factor in the initial crash, police said.