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Spectacular truck crashes grab attention, but accident rate dropping, state data shows

Two commercial trucks burn on Interstate 5 near Woodburn in October 2019. A string of truck crashes on the freeway in recent months blocked commuters and commerce. (Oregon State Police photo)

Gagandeep Singh was traveling south on Interstate 5 near Woodburn when smoke started boiling up from under his Volvo tractor-trailer and filling his driver’s cabin.

He pulled to the shoulder and was out investigating when a Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Rex Hollopeter, 51, of Salem, sideswiped Singh’s.

 Hollopeter’s truck came to a stop blocking southbound traffic as both trucks burned furiously.

The wreck, which hospitalized Hollopeter, closed the freeway for hours.

Then, another truck accident in the northbound lanes snarled traffic even more.

The high-profile crashes in October raised fresh . . .