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Black ice causes 20-car pileup on Oregon interstate near Deadman's Pass; 9 people injured

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Police said 9 people were injured - 5 of them seriously - in a 20-car pileup on Cabbage Hill on Interstate 84, east of Pendleton near the Deadman's Pass Lookout Area. (OSP)

PENDLETON, Ore. - Police said 9 people were injured - 5 of them seriously - in a 20-car pileup on Cabbage Hill on Interstate 84 east of Pendleton near the Deadman's Pass Lookout Area Saturday.

Oregon State Police said 7 commercial vehicles and 13 passenger vehicles crashed around 6:20 p.m. Saturday while heading west on I-84 at milepost 223.

Investigators said vehicles encountered black ice that caused a domino effect in these crashes that closed the westbound lanes overnight until 8 a.m. Sunday.

Detectives believe speed was also a contributing factor.

Life Flight helicopters and ambulances took victims to St. Anthony's Hospital in Pendleton and Kadlec Medical Center in Richland. Several area agencies responded to the pileup to assist state police.

Five of those injured were in serious condition, medics said.

Detectives continue to investigate these crashes. The identities of the people involved have not yet been released.

The crash happened on a stretch where the westbound interstate drops 2,000 feet in elevation over the course of 6 miles through a series of hairpin curves.