Dump truck rolls over, catches fire on I-5 near I-90

Dump truck rolls over, catches fire on I-5 near I-90
WSP photo shows the truck after the fire was extinguished.
SEATTLE - A semi truck rolled over and burst into flames Monday morning on Interstate 5 near the busy interchange with Interstate 90, dumping its load of gravel and rocks onto the roadway, in an accident triggered by a reckless driver in a Volvo who fled the scene.

Southbound lanes of I-5 were blocked at the scene for hours after the crash, causing a six-mile backup, but all lanes have now reopened.

The truck driver sustained minor injuries in the crash. Troopers called his actions "heroic" as he veered to prevent a collision with two motorcycles.

Fire crews responded quickly and extinguished the flames.

A preliminary investigation found that the semi truck was heading south on I-5 with a load of rocks and gravel at about 8:30 a.m., when a Volvo shot past in the HOV lane at high speed, then made an erratic lane change.

That caused the semi truck driver to veer off to the right to avoid hitting two motorcycles. The truck slammed into the jersey barrier and then struck a pillar that supports the I-90 roadway. It rolled over, spilled its load and burst into flames.

"Luckily the driver of that semi truck was able to get out of the vehicle and walk away basically from what is really a horrific-looking scene," said Trooper Chris Webb.

He said the truck driver sustained minor injuries to his shoulder or arm and some lacerations to the face.

Crews worked quickly to clean up the mess at the crash scene, and all lanes reopened just before noon.

Meanwhile, troopers are working to try and identify the driver of the Volvo that caused the wreck.