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Traffic ‘disaster’ slows rainy Friday commute across Seattle area

Seattle-area traffic statistically ranks among some of the worst in the country, and that was on full display early Friday morning, with a rainy commute causing a full-on “Fury Road” situation to take hold.

Woman steals Kent PD patrol car, leads police on early-morning chase

“We’ve had car crashes, we’ve had spin-outs, we’ve had rolled-over semis, we’ve had car chases, and we’ve had car fires. Heck of a morning,” KIRO Radio Traffic Reporter Chris Sullivan described.

Things got off to a strange start early down in the south end, when a woman led Kent PD on a wild chase along I-90 in a stolen police cruiser. She was quickly apprehended, but the incident had traffic on I-90 near Snoqualmie blocked for hours.

Around 4:45 a.m., things got really hairy when a semi rolled over on northbound I-5, just south of the West Seattle Bridge. Completely rolled onto its side — and facing the wrong direction. As of 7:15 a.m., backups extended roughly six miles. Lanes were finally reopened shortly after 9 a.m.

Even after lanes opened back up, though, delays had the drive from Federal Way to Seattle sitting around 100 minutes.

Book-ending the rolled-over semi on northbound I-5 were a pair of rear-end collisions before and after the incident respectively.

It didn’t take long before the next major traffic event took hold, when a U.S Post Office truck caught fire on southbound 167 at Ellingson. And while backups on southbound 167 were minor, rubber-neckers slowing down to stare at the fire across the freeway had the northbound direction of 167 backed up for almost seven miles.

In just a one-hour stretch between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m., there were at least eight separate traffic incidents in the Greater Seattle Area.

“What should normally be an easy Friday morning is turning out to be a disaster,” said KIRO Radio’s Tracy Taylor.

Stay safe out there, folks.

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