LEBANON, Ore. -- The man who crashed his truck on an Interstate 5 off-ramp Wednesday night was involved in a hit-and-run crash reported minutes earlier, State Police officials said.
The driver, later identified as Vasiliy Yashchishen, 40 of Lebanon, was airlifted to a Portland-area hospital with serious injuries.
Police said that they were dispatched to a reported hit-and-run crash at around 9:42 p.m. Wednesday, just north of Woodburn on Interstate 5 northbound.
As officers were en-route to the scene of the hit-and-run, they heard reports of another accident further up I-5 at the Elhen Road off-ramp (Exit 278).
Responding officers found Yashchishen laying on the ground next to his Ford F350 pickup, which was engulfed in flames. Witnesses said that he was pulled from the truck by a couple of citizens who stopped at the scene.
Police later linked Yashchishen's truck to the hit-and-run reported near Woodburn.
A preliminary police investigation states that Yashchishen was speeding north on I-5 when he took the Donald/Aurora Interchange exit, continued off of Elhen Road NE and slammed into several trees alongside the roadway.
Yashchishen was seriously injured in the crash. He was flown to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland by LifeFlight.
Crash investigators are still looking into whether or not Yashchishen was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, or whether alcohol was a factor in the accident, police said.