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PORTLAND -- The driver of a semi truck that crashed through a guardrail Wednesday and plummeted 49 feet to the ground below was upgraded from critical to fair condition buy Thursday morning, hospital officials said.

The crash happened just before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday on the inbound I-84 ramp to northbound Interstate 5, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau.

A car moving from I-84 to I-5 switched lanes suddenly, striking the right front tire of the tractor, Simpson said. The car then crashed into a concrete barrier on the right. The semi swerved to the left, crashing through the guardrail and striking a Union Pacific building before landing on the property below.

The semi driver, 67-year-old David Lee Sitton of Arlington, was taken to Legacy Emanuel hospital after Portland Fire Bureau crews tore open the cab and freed his trapped legs. The procedure to remove him took 30 minutes, Simpson said.

The other driver was not injured in the crash and was not cited.

Damage to the building was minimal. The semi truck belongs to Walsh Trucking Company of Troutdale.

Hamilton said the pavement striping at the site of the crash has caused confusion in the past. ODOT plans to change the striping in August.

More: Lane striping changes planned at site of I-84 semi plunge


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