Two fatal accidents in two weeks along Interstate 5 in Washington close the road for hours at a time as mangled vehicles and truck loads are scattered across multiple lanes. Three people died in two accidents involving a total of five cars and one big rig truck.

Multiple Truck And Car Accidents Along I-5 In Last Two Weeks Cause Three Deaths

Posted on Nov 11, 2008

A chain of multiple car and truck accidents along I-5 started on Thursday morning in Olympia, according to Before dawn, a 49-year-old man from Renton was driving his big rig truck when he lost control of his trailer and crashed into the cement pillar holding up the Eastside Street overpass about 15 minutes before 1 a.m.

Washington State Patrol told reporters that the driver had been driving commercial trucks for less than a month and was still in training at the time of the crash. His trainer, a 51-year-old man from Washington, was asleep in the back of the cab when the incident took place. The driver of the truck was killed, while his trainer suffered some injuries and was treated at a local hospital.

The accident closed both the north and southbound lanes of I-5, as the truck crash spit the truck open, spilling its contents across all lanes of traffic. State patrol spokesperson Brandy Kessler told reporters that the debris was cleared all through the night, with the northbound lanes cleared and re-opened by 4 a.m. and the southbound lanes reopened by 7 a.m.

The week before, a driver headed north on I-5 crossed the center line and caused a five-care pile-up around 6 pm at the South 296th Street exit. Although the details of the accidents are still not clear, several of the five cars were severely damages and one car was upside down when help arrived.

Two people involved in the crash died.

A witness, Ron Gascoyne, reported that the wrong-way driver almost hit him before crashing into the car driving behind him.

"I swerved a little bit to the right, just missed me and hit the car (behind me) head on," he said. "I looked in my rearview mirror and the explosion -- it was unbelievable."

The crash closed down all southbound lanes between exits 145 and 146 and traffic was backed up in the area for the rest of rush hour. All lanes were reopened by 11 pm. Although authorities don't know what caused the crash, they believe the 51-year-old Puyallup driver of the wrong-way car may have been impaired at the time. He has been arrested and is being investigated for a possible vehicular homicide charge.

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