Multi-Vehicle Car Accident on Southbound I-5 at Portal Way
Just after 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19th a multi-vehicle car accident on southbound I-5 north of the Portal Way off-ramp left both southbound lanes and one northbound lane blocked for an hour as emergency crews cleared crash scene debris. As of 2 p.m., one lane of southbound I-5 had been reopened and both were reopened by 4 p.m. The lane closures caused a traffic jam stretching for three miles at the peak of the delay. An unrelated crash in the northbound lanes may have added to the traffic jam.
According to Whatcom County Fire District 7 Fire Chief Larry Hoffman, emergency responders treated patients in six or seven vehicles. Four patients were transported to PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s Medical Center; three under basic life support protocol (BLS) and one under advanced (ALS).
Witnesses reportedly saw a commercial armored courier vehicle bellowing thick, dark smoke just before the accident; other drivers involved in the crash said they could not see clearly because of the smoke. A semi-truck crashed left into the median and the other vehicles involved headed to the right side of the road.
What is a multi-vehicle car accident?
Multi-vehicle crashes are accidents involving multiple vehicles. Most often, a multi-car accident begins with one vehicle rear-ending the vehicle in front of them which causes that vehicle to jerk forward and crash into the vehicle in front of them. The higher the speed of the impact and the heavier the traffic, the more vehicles are impacted. In some cases, additional cars crash into the crashed vehicles because they don’t have time to stop.
In worst case scenarios, a pile-up occurs with many vehicles. Pile-ups are most likely to happen on heavily trafficked freeways with a high speed limit. This type of traffic accident can be deadly at worst and cause injuries and damage at the very least. It is common for vehicles stuck in a pile-up to get hit several times, increasing the odds of whip lash and other personal injuries. When cars spin upon impact – which is common in multi-car pileups – passengers are in high danger for side-impact injuries. One of the biggest risks associated with multi-vehicle pile-ups is when a fire begins in one vehicle and spreads over the entire crash zone. When people exit their vehicles during a pile-up they put themselves in danger of being hit by another car.
Car accidents caused by poor visibility
Poor visibility can be caused by weather conditions like fog and hail, heavy rain, smoke or sun glare. Dawn, dusk and night time also present reduced visibility for drivers. In the case of this accident, visibility was reduced because of black smoke coming from a truck.
Poor visibility dramatically increases the chance of a car accident. Fog alone causes more than 30,000 car crashes per year. When poor visibility is combined with driver negligence such as driving too fast for road conditions, the risk of a crash increases even more.
If you have lost a loved one or been injured through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced wrongful death attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!