Police: Keizer man backing up pickup on I-5 near Sutherlin dies in crash with semi

Photo: Oregon State Police

SUTHERLIN, OR (KPTV) - A Keizer man who was backing up his pickup on Interstate 5 near Sutherlin died in a crash with a semi, according to Oregon State Police.

Emergency crews responded to the northbound lanes on the highway at 6:53 p.m. Wednesday.

Investigators said Jelacio Carrasco Vargas, 59, had stopped his Ford pickup in the right northbound lane and began backing up when his truck was hit from behind by a semi pulling a trailer.

Witnesses pulled Vargas and his passenger, Ernesto Rodriguez Vargas, 29, out of the pickup as it caught fire.

Police said Jelacio Vargas died from his injuries at the scene. Ernesto Vargas suffered serious injuries and was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg before being transferred for further treatment to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield.

The 60-year-old driver of the semi was not injured, according to troopers.

Oregon State Police reported alcohol use is being investigated as a possible contributing factor in the crash.

Traffic was reduced to one lane in the area and the offramp at Exit 136 was closed for four hours following the crash.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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