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UPDATED: I-5 closed after fatality head-on crash

Scene of a head on fatality crash in the northbound lanes of I-5 (July 1, 2020). WSDOT traffic camera

Last updated on March 22, 2021

Law enforcement and aid crews responded to the northbound lanes of I-5 between the Smith Road overpass and the Slater Road interchange due to a report of head-on crash about 8:20pm tonight, July 1st.

According to Washington State Patrol Trooper Heather Axtman, troopers had received multiple reports of a silver Lexus traveling southbound in the northbound lanes and were heading to the area when the crash occurred.

Axtman said it appears the southbound Lexus got on I-5 at the northbound Main Street off-ramp and the crash occurred south of the Smith Road overpass, 1.6 miles away, at freeway speeds.

There were 2 males in the Lexus. The passenger was declared dead at the scene and the driver was transported to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center unconscious and in critical condition, Axtman said.

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There was only the driver, a female, in the northbound Toyota Camry and she was transported to PeaceHealth with non-life-threatening injuries according to Axtman.

The northbound lanes are expected to remain closed while WSP investigators survey the scene of the crash. As of 9:20pm, drivers were being detoured off northbound I-5 at the Slater Road interchange.

As of 10pm, Axtman said the driver of the Lexus had been placed in custody and charges of suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular homicide were pending.

Officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation said both northbound lanes of I-5 were reopened as of 11:35pm.

One Comment

  1. Belle Lynne July 2, 2020

    I passed this wrong way driver at a point where it seems like he had been in the passing lane way before that “Main Street off-ramp”! Because the car ahead of me took the Portal Way exit and the wrong way driver seemed to have been in the passing lane even beyond the Portal Way exit.

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