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UPDATED: Crash blocks all northbound I-5 lanes in Skagit

Officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said at 12:45pm today, September 1st, that all I-5 northbound lanes at Lake Samish Road at the Alger interchange were blocked due to a collision.

Approximate location of the crash

As of 1:20pm, traffic was backed up to the Bow Hill interchange.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Jacob Kennett said this was a multi-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle and the extent of any injuries were not immediately known.

Traffic was being diverted off northbound I-5 at the Bow Hill interchange.

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Kennett told Whatcom News they were dispatched about 12:30pm. Their investigation found that a Ford Transit van driven by a 21-year-old Bellingham man was approaching a slowdown in a construction zone when it failed to slow and crashed into 2 motorcycles and 2 pickup trucks.

The 2 motorcyclists were transported to Skagit Valley Hospital, 1 with critical injuries according to Kennett. The other 3 drivers were uninjured.

As of 1:50pm, WSDOT reported 1 lane had been reopened.

As of 2:25pm, the traffic backup reached Burlington, a distance of 10 miles.

WSDOT announced both lanes had been reopened by 2:45pm. The traffic backup was reportedly 8 miles long at the time.

According to a WSP press memo, charges are pending against the driver of the Ford Transit van. The cause of the crash was cited as inattentive driving.


  1. Randy Petty September 1, 2022

    Get the ambulances and tow trucks on scene first. Once the injured or dead have been evacuated, tow or push the involved vehicles to the side of the road and let thousands get through to where they are going. If you have to measure for insurance purposes, do it after 9pm and let the insurance companies figure things out for themselves. Or just go no-fault insurance. I’ve watched identical situations for decades — sometimes it leads to heart attacks, overheating, and a big loss of productivity, not to mention wasted fuel and exhaust pollution.
    We seem to treat highways as if they were a 2-lane buggy trail in 1850 with one buggy every 3 hours. It would be interesting to calculate the true cost of closing a highway for hours.

  2. Jim September 3, 2022

    Again!? This happens far too often. I’ve traveled this corridor often, both as a motorcyclist and as a driver.
    The last time i was on this section when a massive blocking MVA occurred, I watched the cars involved basically que themselves up for the accident without even being aware of it just before the collision occurred.
    State Patrol whitewashed the story saying it was lane intrusion and speed as the cause.
    What I actually saw was (I was behind them FYI) multiple cars no more than 3-6 feet off the back of each other, that is the wrong follow distance for the speeds they were at prior to the fatal MVA occurring.
    I see these same conditions repeat along that corridor way too often, WSP & law enforcement don’t enforce tailgating. I see the net result of that non-enforcement on the i-5 corridor all the time, hell people even tailgate the cops on the roads and are never cited.

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