Truck Driver Killed After Crashing Through Highway Guardrail and Down Steep Embankment

Oakridge, OR – A 57-year-old truck driver was killed over the weekend when he crashed through a guardrail and down a steep embankment along an Oregon highway.

Oregon State Police (OSP) reported the deadly accident occurred on Sunday, June 27 at approximately 12:20 p.m. along Highway 58 near mile post 55.


Officials said truck driver Joe Wright, 57, of Silverton, OR, was operating a yellow Freightliner semi hauling a load of plants and shrubs when lost control and crashed into and then through the guardrail.

Wright then plunged down a steep embankment.

According to local outlet KEZI, multiple witnesses immediately called 9-1-1 and attempted to save Wright from the wreckage.

“We went down there and then we started smelling gas really bad,” Kaitlin Vollmer, a witness to the crash told KEZI. “Everyone was freaking out because they didn’t want us to go down there but if he was alive we knew we had to.”


Vollmer, along with her husband and two friends, made their way down the hillside and after searching for 15 minutes, they saw Wright’s lifeless body.

“The only thing that was showing was his feet,” she recounted. “You could see some of his skin and it was colorless.”

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Investigators reported the hillside where the crash occurred broke away as result of the impact.

Officials have not yet revealed what is believed to have led to the crash.

Photo courtesy of Kaitlin Vollmer

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