Brookings man killed in crash that sparks Highway 101 blaze

GOLD BEACH — A deadly crash involving a car and a big rig on Highway 101 near Gold Beach sparked a wildfire that kept crews busy late into Tuesday night, Oregon State Police said.

A preliminary OSP investigation revealed a 2009 Toyota Scion driven by Vincent Jaramillo of Brookings was traveling on Highway 101 near milepost 331 when for unknown reasons it drifted into the opposite traffic lane.

The Toyota collided with a Freightliner pulling two large trailers. The tractor trailer careened across the road for 200 yards after the crash and smashed through a guard rail. It tipped onto its side and came to rest along the side of the highway, OSP said.

Jaramillo was pronounced dead at the scene, OSP said.

The truck then caught fire, which spread to nearby brush, OSP said.

Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming said strong winds coming off the ocean whipped the fire into wildlands on each side of the highway.

"The wind was a real problem," Leaming said. "The fire moved very quickly."

Fire crews from several agencies near the coast sprung to action trying to contain the fire. The fire still burned in brush and trees by 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Fire departments in the area did not return calls Tuesday night seeking specifics on the size and scope of the blaze.

Truck driver Allen Hart, 61, was taken to Curry General Hospital to be treated for minor injuries, OSP said.

Fire personnel from Coos Forest Patrol, Gold Beach, Pistol, Ophir and Cape Ferrello fire departments have been working together to control the fire.

After several hours, one lane of Highway 101 was opened to traffic, OSP said.

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