close_menu
Latest News

Local News

You’d be ‘hard-pressed’ to find a worse spot for a crash on I-5

A tanker truck carrying butane lays overturned Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, in Seattle. The semi-truck rolled on a southbound lane that feeds into Interstate 5 on Monday. (Grant Hindsley/seattlepi.com via AP)

It would be difficult to find a worse place for a truck carrying a flammable substance to crash than the spot where one overturned in Seattle on Monday.

WATCH: Food truck stuck on I-5 serves up tacos

A truck hauling propane rolled on the southbound I-5 collector-distributor lanes south of Dearborn at approximately 10 a.m. Because the contents of the truck’s cargo were flammable, it forced the state patrol to close much more than just those few lanes.

The state patrol shut down the freeway entirely between I-90 and the West Seattle Bridge for about eight hours. The state also closed off I-90 at the SoDo stadium. Ramps above and surface streets below were also closed.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse spot for a truck carrying flammable liquid to flip than yesterday,” KIRO Radio’s Chris Sullivan explained.

Those lucky enough to exit the freeway before it was too late to do so found themselves stuck in gridlock through Seattle. Many were forced to sit and wait it out.

“If you were on the freeway you were stuck. If you had a choice, there were very few,” Sullivan said.

Commute times through the city skyrocketed as drivers struggled to move along the surface streets. The following photo shows the true bumper-to-bumper traffic people experienced Monday afternoon and evening.

Traffic and Ninth and James Street on Monday afternoon. (SDOT)

Traffic and Ninth and James Street on Monday afternoon. (SDOT)

Crews began opening northbound and southbound lanes of I-5 around 6 p.m. The crash site in the collector-distributor lanes was cleared about an hour later.

There were multiple reasons it took so long to clear the crash. For starters, three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries. On top of that, the Seattle Fire Department’s HAZMAT team had to investigate the scene. Then, propane was transferred to a second tanker truck.

Somehow, Monday’s crash took less time to clear than the crash involving fish truck in 2015 that blocked Highway 99 for nine hours.

But, as Sullivan points out, the incident on Monday is just another example of how Seattle is one crash away from total gridlock.

Photos of the tanker truck crash

About the Author

Kipp Robertson

Kipp joined the MyNorthwest.com team in February 2015. He's worked as a reporter in the greater Seattle area since graduating from Western Washington University in 2010. Email Kipp at krobertson@mynorthwest.com

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus
close_menu
Latest News