Truck rollover snarls Interstate 90 traffic through Issaquah

August 9, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Emergency crews converged on westbound Interstate 90 between Front Street and state Route 900 just after 8 a.m. Aug. 5 after a tractor-trailer toppled across three lanes, snarling the morning commute.

The tractor-trailer was heading westbound in the center lane when the driver attempted to make a lane change to the right, Washington State Patrol Trooper Julie Startup said. In the process, the truck bumped into a car in the adjacent lane.

The truck driver, realizing the rig had bumped the car, attempted to correct to avoid a more serious collision, but lost control and ended up in a brush-filled ditch on the left road shoulder.

Then, as the truck driver attempted to pull out of the ditch, the rig flipped and landed on its side, blocking most of the westbound interstate.

Medics transported the driver of the car, a 29-year-old Sumner man, to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue for treatment of minor injuries. The truck driver, a 30-year-old Auburn man, escaped uninjured.

The state patrol’s commercial vehicle inspectors plan to inspect the tractor-trailer as a standard part of the investigation. Startup said the tractor-trailer driver is unlikely to face charges in the incident.

Crews managed to right the toppled rig after 8:30 a.m. and reopened lanes to traffic at about 9:15 a.m. Traffic backed up for two and a half miles as state troopers closed the lanes to investigate and clean up. Startup said the toppled truck had been hauling hay.

“Luckily, the hay stayed inside the vehicle today,” she added. “That could be a mess. But hay is much easier to clean up than a load of marbles.”

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