News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Lebanon man dies in tanker crash

A Lebanon man is dead following the crash of a tanker truck near Lyons May 23 that resulted in fire damage to two abandoned homes and a hazmat response for spilled fuel.

According to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the crash was called in around 10:39 a.m. on Lyons-Mill City Drive near Neighbors Lane, east of Lyons.

An investigation revealed Steven Froemke, 63 of Lebanon, was driving a 2000 Kenworth oil tanker eastbound when he failed to negotiate a curve and crashed into a tree. The tanker was fully involved in flames when emergency crews arrived and Froemke was found deceased.

Authorities are investigating why Froemke left the road and said there was no indication of impairment.

Gasoline and diesel spilled from the tanker and burned, requiring a response from the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Regional HAZ-MAT team. The sheriff’s office said there is no reason to believe the local water supply was contaminated.

The fire spread to two nearby abandoned homes and caused significant damage. The crash also caused downed power lines and required the assistance of crews from Pacific Power.

Lyons-Mill City Drive was closed for around seven hours. The sheriff’s office said additional closures may be possible as crews continue to clean and investigate.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Lyons Fire Department, Mill City Fire Department, Gates Fire Department, Stayton Fire Department, Sublimity Fire Department, Scio Fire Department, Idahna-Detroit Fire Department, Chemeketa Fire Program, Linn County Medical Examiner’s Office, Linn County Road Department, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

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