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Police: Semi driver swerved to avoid deer, hit guardrail and bridge instead

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A semi truck crash on Interstate 5 forced the closure of one lane of Interstate 5 early Monday morning as crews inspected a bridge for damage. (SBG)

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - A semi truck crash on Interstate 5 forced the closure of one lane of Interstate 5 early Monday morning as crews inspected a bridge for damage.

About 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in the crash. Jim Potts from Northwest Hazmat said crews were out there Monday morning cleaning up and planned to return to the scene Monday or Wednesday to determine whether additional clean up is necessary.

Oregon State Police said the driver told investigators he swerved to avoid a deer on the roadway about 2 miles north of Cottage Grove.

The semi hit a metal guardrail and concrete railing over a dry ditch. The vehicle came to rest on the driver's side off the road in the ditch.

The driver - identified as Scott Edward Valiquette, 27, of Medford - suffered minor injuries, police said. He was taken to Cottage Grove Hospital by ambulance.

Troopers cited Valiquette for failing to drive within the lane.

The Oregon Department of Transportation said the crash north of Cottage Grove damaged 300 feet of guardrail and the concrete bridge guardrail.

The southbound fast lane was closed for several hours while the ODOT bridge crew responded to inspect the bridge for damage.

The crash happened around 1:48 a.m. The road reopened and ODOT crews cleared the scene by 7 a.m.