OSP: Bend man killed in fuel truck crash in Linn Co.; Hwy 22 closed indefinitely

Courtesy: Oregon State Police

The Oregon Department of Transportation is telling drivers not to rely on GPS while navigating an extended closure of Highway 22 in the Santiam Canyon.

The highway remains closed between Milepost 55 at the east end of Idanha to the Santiam Junction where Highway 22 and Highway 20 intersect.

A tanker crashed in icy conditions and caught fire in the area Friday night. The driver, 58-year-old Ronald Scurlock of Bend, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The tanker spilled more than 11,000 gallons of fuel and about 300 feet of roadway was damaged in the crash.

On Tuesday, ODOT reported a contractor is continuing to make progress on repairs, but Highway 22 remained closed with no timeline for reopening it.

Transportation officials urge drivers to stay on maintained roads and highways while navigating mountain passes and do not rely on GPS units, as they are directing some drivers on Forest Service roads near Detroit.

ODOT recommends smaller vehicles use Highway 20 when traveling between the Willamette Valley and central Oregon. Large trucks should use Highway 126 McKenzie Highway through Springfield, Highway 58 Willamette Highway or Highway 26.

For more, go to tripcheck.com.

The city of Salem switched to backup groundwater and reservoirs for drinking water due to the spill reaching the North Santiam River.

Water in Salem remains safe to drink thanks to the backup systems, according to a city statement.

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