Truck driver won't be cited for fiery crash

MEDFORD — A truck driver who crashed into a barrier on Interstate 5 at Medford's south interchange in August, causing a fire that damaged asphalt and closed part of the freeway for about a day, won't be cited, Oregon State Police have concluded.

However, the state has billed his employer's insurance company $50,000 for the damage and he has lost his job.

Doug McClimans, 62, of Vancouver, Wash., was driving a UPS Freight commercial truck towing two empty trailers south on the interstate when he missed a slight curve around a construction zone at the interchange and slammed into a concrete barrier at about 5:35 a.m. on Aug. 20, Oregon State Police reported. The crash ripped open the truck's fuel tank and started a fire that destroyed the truck and deeply damaged the asphalt in the right southbound lane. Repairs to the pavement took most of the day and backed up traffic for miles.

After the crash, McClimans told investigators that he thought he had fallen asleep before hitting the barrier. Police ordered toxicology tests on McClimans and they were clear of drugs, OSP Lt. Brian Powers said.

The contractors on the construction project, Wildish Standard Paving, of Eugene, and LTM Inc., of Medford, submitted a $36,000 bill for their work to remove the burnt-out truck and repave the damaged lanes, said Oregon Department of Transportation project information coordinator Gary Leaming.

Traffic control and environmental cleanup for a fuel spill pushed the total cost for the incident to $50,000, and that amount was submitted in a claim to UPS's insurance company, he said. Such claims are typical when crashes damage state property, Leaming said.

Ira Rosenfeld, director of media relations for UPS Freight, said that McClimans was dismissed from his job earlier this month after he recovered from the injuries he suffered in the August crash. The other man in the truck has recovered from his injuries and returned to work as a driver with the company, Rosenfeld said.

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