Fiery car crash near Lacey causes I-5 to shut down for five hours

Jun 20, 2024, 8:46 AM

lacey crash I-5...

Photo of the "chaotic" scene on I-5 neat Exit 111. (Photo courtesy of Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders via Instagram)

(Photo courtesy of Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders via Instagram)

Authorities are looking for a suspected hit-and-run driver after a “chaotic mess” on Interstate 5 (I-5) occurred Thursday morning near Lacey.

Troopers arrived at the scene near Exit 111 off I-5 at approximately 12:30 a.m. to find empty cars on fire, according to Washington State Patrol (WSP) Trooper John Dattilo.

More local fires: 8,000-acre brush fire in Yakima County causes ‘Level 2’ evacuations

“I was traveling down I-5 looking for a vehicle that fled a traffic stop when I observed a multi-vehicle collision near Exit 111,” Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders wrote on Instagram. “One vehicle was fully engulfed in flames, and I observed a male fleeing the scene toward Fortune Casino.”

The vehicle that fled the traffic stop allegedly crashed into another car that had a woman and a child inside. Everyone involved was able to escape.

“Two of the involved vehicles caught fire,” WSP Trooper John Datillo said. “Thankfully, no one inside was injured to the point where they could not self-extricate, so (the cars) were empty at the time of the fires.”

According to Datillo, the injuries — including broken bones — suffered were serious with several people hospitalized, but not life-threatening, as of this reporting.

After witnessing one person flee the scene, law enforcement officials were able to track down that suspect, and another person, at the nearby casino. They were both taken into custody. According to Sanders, impairment is suspected as a cause of the crash.

More local crashes: SR-410 crash in Sumner turns fatal after driver misses turn and hits vehicle head-on

I-5 south near the exit was closed for more than five hours because of the crash, according to KIRO Newsradio.

This is a developing story, check back for updates

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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Fiery car crash near Lacey causes I-5 to shut down for five hours