NEAR SILVERTON, Ore. — Firefighters say a pregnant woman was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition after a three-vehicle crash near Silverton around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The woman's mother told KATU her daughter and unborn child are doing well, that the woman is able to talk with her family and is receiving "excellent care."
The Marion County Sheriff's Office said the woman was driving a compact blue car on Silverton Road Northeast near Paradise Alley Road when she lost control in the ice before crossing into the oncoming lane. The crash shut down Silverton Road for hours.
"It was quite a violent crash," explained Silverton Fire District Assistant Chief Ed Grambusch, who was first to respond.
He said he found the pregnant woman behind the wheel of the mangled compact car and believes speed may have been a factor.
"The driver lost it as we say it, in the ice, went sideways and then ran into the pickup who was traveling very slowly at the time," Grambusch said. "And then a van, I believe, came up behind and hit the pickup."
Grambusch said he immediately called in a helicopter to take the pregnant woman to Salem Health hospital.
"She was very bad off when I got there and talking to the Life Flight crew when they got there, after they evaluated the patient as well, they said it was very fortunate that we contacted and did the rapid extrication as we did," Grambusch explained.
He said the drivers of the two other vehicles had minor injuries.
"They all denied any pertinent pain and decided not to go," Grambusch said.
Meanwhile, in North Marion County the Aurora Fire District said it dealt with nine weather-related crashes overnight on Interstate 5.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office said it handled nine crashes from midnight to around noon Tuesday. The Salem Police Department said it handled six from Monday night to late Tuesday morning.
"It's just slowing down. That's a huge part," said Grambusch. "As far as road conditions, increase your spacing to about eight to 10 seconds instead of your normal four seconds between vehicles, slowdown and then consider just staying home. Let's prevent some tragedies."