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2 southbound I-5 lanes near Federal Way to close at 6 to remove double-tanker truck involved in fatal crash

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on Nov. 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
November 4, 2012 6:03 pm

The two right lanes of southbound Interstate 5 in Federal Way will close for one to two hours starting at 6 p.m., as crews remove a double-tanker truck involved in a fatal crash overnight just south of South 320th Street.

The state Department of Transportation said that the truck loaded with gasoline crashed, caught fire and punctured a freeway sound wall at 2 a.m. Sunday.

The driver of the truck, identified by the Washington State Patrol as 68-year-old Joseph Bartkowski of Sumner, died at the scene.

The crash that killed one and injured four started when a 21-year-old lost control of the car he was driving and hit the freeway barrier, according to the State Patrol.

Another car hit the first vehicle, and the truck crashed into that car and ran off the roadway and rolled over, the State Patrol said. The resulting fire ignited a storage tanker on the other side of the sound wall, according to the state DOT.

The 21-year-old driver was booked into King County Jail, the State Patrol said. He was injured in the crash.

The State Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash, but said in a release that drugs or alcohol were involved.

The driver and two passengers of the second vehicle were taken to St. Francis Hospital with injuries.

All lanes of southbound I-5 were closed until 7:50 a.m., when an HOV lane opened. The other lanes of the freeway were closed for the investigation till just before 10 a.m.

Some cleanup of the wreck was “hampered by small pools of fuel that ignited after the collision and small crashes in the northbound lanes as drivers looked” at the wreck, Noel Brady of the state DOT said.

As many as nine sound wall panels along I-5 were damaged in the crash, Brady said.

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