Overturned Semi Closes I-5 South of Bellingham in Single Vehicle Truck Accident
Drivers heading south of Bellingham on the I-5 this morning were met with a much longer commute because an overturned semi-truck had both lanes blocked. The semi-truck hit the median in a single-vehicle crash about 2:30 a.m. on southbound I-5 at the North Lake Samish on-ramp (milepost 246). The driver was able to climb out on his own, and suffered only minor injuries. According to Washington State DOT officials, traffic was detoured off I-5 at the North Lake Samish interchange for about three miles along North Lake Samish Drive to East Lake Samish Drive and back onto I-5 southbound at Nulle Road.
Drivers were left wondering for hours about when the lanes would be reopened and roads were reported as being slick in the area. At 9 a.m. crews were still working to recover the semi-truck and trailer and clear debris from the crash scene. At 9:15 a.m. crews were finishing clean-up and plowing the scene. The backup at that time stretched over five miles to the Samish Way interchange in Bellingham. As of 9:30 a.m., both lanes had been reopened.
What is a single-vehicle crash?
A single-car crash has occurred when only one vehicle is involved in an accident. About 90 percent of all single-vehicle accidents are classified as a runoff-road (ROR) crash. A ROR accident is when a vehicle leaves the roadway and moves onto the shoulder, median, roadside or parking lane, etc. and then crashes into an unmoving object like a tree, pole, wall or fire hydrant. In some cases, a pedestrian is hit.
In a single-car accident, property damage and personal injuries are the typical outcome. Perhaps surprisingly, single-car collisions carry a higher fatality rate then head-on or side-impact collisions. About 70 percent of fatal single-vehicle crashes are ROR crashes.
Truck accident statistics
- About 5,000 people in passenger vehicles are killed in motor vehicle accidents involving semi-trucks annually.
- About 700 people in semi-trucks die in crashes with passenger vehicles each year.
- The disparity between death rates has to do with the size difference between the vehicles.
- About 64 percent of fatal semi-truck accidents involve a semi-truck that was pulling one trailer.
Causes of truck accidents
Some common causes for semi-truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue from driving thousands of miles in a few days.
- Improperly maintained trucks including bald tires or worn brakes.
- Distracted driving from using cell phones, entering an address into a GPS system, eating while driving or trying to change the radio channel. Truck drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving.
- Driver inexperience or inadequate training which has become an even bigger problem with the serious shortage of long-haul truckers nationwide.
- Improperly loading cargo can mean unevenly distributed weight and increased risk of jack-knifing.
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!