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I-5 backup prompted by crash

(Wednesday) night just before 6 p.m. I got caught up in a pretty major traffic jam on Interstate 5 that started on the viaduct and seemed to clear up near exit 30. I saw several Oregon State Police cruisers and a couple fire trucks. It didn’t look like an accident, but I suppose vehicles may have already been cleared. What happened?

— Via email

A crash involving three vehicles had traffic backed up, but two of those vehicles had left the scene by the time police and fire crews arrived, according to OSP.

Central Point resident Raphael Hernandez, 19, had been traveling northbound on the freeway in a silver Chevy Impala around 5:30 p.m. when he was “struck from behind by a full-size, white, firefighter-style van,” an OSP report said.

Hernandez then ran into a red Jeep Cherokee in front of him. When OSP arrived at the crash site, near milepost 29, Hernandez was the only one there.

“Both the firefighter van and the Jeep Cherokee left the scene prior to my arrival,” the report said.

The Impala had heavy front-end damage and a minor scratch on the rear bumper. Hernandez was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center due to wrist pain. He received a citation for driving while suspended and having no proof of insurance, the report said.

The vehicle was towed.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.