Late Sunday night, a three vehicle crash on I-5 near 336th St. in Federal Way, resulted in the death of one and injuries to five. The crash occurred at approximately 2:00 a.m. when a 21-year-old from Renton was driving his Nissan Altima southbound, lost control and struck the barrier. A 24-year-old Tacoma woman behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry hit the Nissan, pushing the vehicle into the other lane. A semi truck driven by a 68-year-old Sumner man then struck the Nissan, went off road, rolled into the sound wall and caught on fire. Owned by Lee & Eastes Tank Lines, the double tanker was fully loaded with 9,000 gallons of aviation fuel and continued to burn for hours after the crash.

Washington State Patrol, WSDOT crews and nearly a dozen emergency response vehicles came to the scene where they put out the fire, closed lanes, managed traffic, and checked road surfaces and sound walls. According to KING 5, DOT reported damage to at least nine sound walls and stated that oil spills of any size cause environmental damage, with a single quart of fuel having the potential to contaminate more than 100,000 gallons of water. The Altima driver is currently in King Country Jail and an investigation of vehicular homicide is underway. His bail was set on Monday for $100,000 and troopers suspect drugs or alcohol was involved in the fatal collision. Police are asking for parties who were witness to the crash or saw any of the vehicles earlier in the night to contact Detective Russ Haake at (425) 401-7717.

As in this example, one driver error or accident can set several others in motion, resulting in numerous injuries or death. If you’ve been in an accident or want to educate yourself for future reference, get your FREE copy of “The Truth about Washington Auto Accidents” — but I hope you never have to use this information. Stay alert, safe and sober out there.

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