The northbound lanes of Interstate-5 shut down for more than five hours and re-opened at about 7:45 am Monday after a tragic car/semi-trailer accident killed a 22-year old Bremerton man. The Washington State Patrol (WSP) shut down northbound traffic following the fatality accident, which reportedly occurred at 11:14 pm Sunday near milepost 177. During the closure, traffic was diverted off the 244th Street exit near the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center.
Based on the initial investigation and media reports, the accident occurred when the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord lost control of his vehicle and hit the semi-trailer. The impact caused the truck’s trailer to flip over and crush the car. The driver of the Honda died at the scene and there were no passengers. The driver of the semi-trailer, a 50 year-old man from Puyallup, did not report injuries.
Hazardous Material Involved
The semi-trailer truck involved in the collision was carrying liquid nitrogen, a dangerous form of the chemical element, that is used in many commercial cooling applications. Fortunately, no motorists or responding emergency personnel were injured by this hazardous substance, which remained contained.
The WSP reported the semi-trailer was carrying 7,000 pounds of liquid nitrogen. A separate tanker truck was called out the scene so the liquid nitrogen in the badly damaged semi-trailer could be safely transferred away from the scene.
Determining Liability in a Collision
Fatality collisions are thoroughly investigated with the gathering of physical evidence, photographs, and witness statements by authorities and other parties involved. With the investigation ongoing, it is unclear whether the driver of the semi-trailer was negligent in this collision.
Regardless of where fault for this accident lies, it is a tragic reminder of the violent nature of trucking accidents and the devastating injuries and deaths that can occur.