Flames arise from a vehicle after a fatal crash west of the Timber Junction. Photo used with permission.
Highway 26 was closed for several hours in the afternoon of Tuesday, November 10 after a Portland man driving westbound west of Timber entered the eastbound lanes on the highway and struck two vehicles, prompting a vehicle fire and chemical spill, according to emergency crews on the scene.
According to the Oregon State Police, Kevin Gilroy, 28, was pronounced dead on the scene, near the county line in the milepost 35 area.
According to the Oregon State Police, Gilroy was driving west on Highway 26 in a Toyota 4Runner when he entered the eastbound lanes and struck two vehicles, a Ford Transit commercial van operated by Michael Kromm, 34 of Salem, and a Toyota Tacoma driven by Michael Young, 69, with passenger Lea Young, 68, both from Portland. Crews were dispatched to the scene beginning just after 1:45 p.m.
Video obtained by the Banks Post showed the Toyota 4Runner engulfed in flames. As a result of the crash, chemicals spilled and mixed from the commercial van, which were contained with assistance from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
Kromm was transported from the scene in an ambulance with critical injuries, according to Metro West Ambulance.
Michael and Lea Young did not require medical transportation from the scene.
Banks Fire District 13, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Vernonia Fire, Metro West Ambulance, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, and the Oregon Department of Transportation all assisted in some capacity at the scene, according to the Oregon State Police and Banks Fire District spokesperson Scott Adams.
This story has been updated after OSP released the name of the deceased driver.