A semi-truck driver allegedly fell asleep at the wheel early today, lost control of his rig and crashed along state Route 18. The accident forced the closure of SR 18 just west of state Route 516 for a little over two hours.
The 21-year-old driver sustained serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, the Washington State Patrol reported.
The man was driving west on SR 18 just before 1 a.m. when the semi truck struck several sections of the guardrail, a bridge embankment and several trees.
The trailer was ripped apart. Only the driver’s seat was intact in what remained of the driver’s compartment, troopers reported.
A piece of the barrier damaged the fuel tank of a passing semi truck, causing diesel to spray all over the roadway.
Both of the westbound lanes were closed so crews could sand the roadway and remove the damaged trailer. The tractor was then removed.
All lanes of the highway are now open to traffic.