111611 big rig

A megaload travels east on Interstate 90 near Drummond on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011. Trucks hauling the equipment bound for the oil sands of northern Alberta were common on the freeway in the past year.

MOSCOW, Idaho - The Idaho Transportation Department is suspending shipments of Imperial Oil refinery equipment from the Port of Lewiston after a collision involving one of the equipment modules.

The suspension includes three shipments that were scheduled to travel Wednesday, department spokesman Adam Rush said in an emailed statement.

Idaho State Police Capt. Lonnie Richardson said Tuesday's collision involved one of three shipments that left the port Tuesday night. The shipments were supposed to stop at a staging area on U.S. Highway 95 before traveling through Moscow in a convoy, but one driver tried to leave before southbound traffic was released, Richardson told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

The module hit a van, causing severe damage and pushing that van into another vehicle. No one was injured, Richardson said.

"The driver did not follow the approved safety plan," Richardson said. "This was clearly driver error."

Imperial Oil spokesman Pius Rolheiser said the company "won't move until we're confident this won't happen again."

"It's our understanding that the damage to the vehicle was relatively minor, but we take incidents like this very seriously."

The modules are traveling from Idaho, through northwestern Montana to an oil sands project in northeastern Alberta, Canada.

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