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Driver who caused complete shutdown of I-5 faces hefty bill

All lanes of I-5 were blocked Saturday morning due to downed power lines and at least one crash. (WSDOT)

The causing driver of a crash that led to the closure of Interstate 5 in North Seattle for hours on Saturday faces a hefty repair bill.

CHOKEPOINTS: Thousands of commuters will be impacted by I-5 work

Seattle City Light plans to charge the driver’s insurance company for the labor and repairs caused by the morning crash, KIRO 7 reports.

The driver totaled his vehicle after losing control while turning at Fifth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 125th Street just after 8 a.m. The impact of the crash severed a guy line that was supporting a large power pole. It also snapped a transmission pole in half.

Power lines fell onto I-5 as a result of the crash and damaged guy line and power pole. The lines, which were live, forced the state to shut down the interstate for more than two hours.

KIRO 7 reports City Light will charge the driver’s insurance company. The repair costs are expected to be at least six-figures. It is unclear how much City Light will recover from the insurance company. However, City Light doesn’t want its customers or taxpayers to have to pay for the damage.

“Just as if you had run into another car or someone’s home, the damage you caused while you’re out driving is something that you’re responsible for, and that’s why we have insurance,” Scott Thomsen with City Light said.

In addition to the charges from City Light, it’s possible the Washington State Patrol could file a claim for overtime costs.

About 2,200 customers lost power for hours after the crash.

At least two vehicles were damaged on I-5 as traffic came to a screeching halt. One car flipped on its side. The roof of another was ripped off.

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