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Updated: Wrong-way driver causes northbound and southbound lanes of I-5 to shut down in Blaine

A vehicle traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-5 is seen as other drivers take evasive maneuvers to avoid crashing (October 2, 2021). WSDOT traffic camera
A vehicle traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-5 can be seen as other drivers take evasive maneuvers to avoid crashing (October 2, 2021). WSDOT traffic camera

BLAINE, Wash. — Details are still being retrieved regarding the cause but Washington State Patrol abruptly closed a southbound and a northbound lane of I-5 in the area between D and H Street overpasses (mile post 276) about 12:30pm today, October 2nd.

WSP Trooper Rocky Oliphant said the incident began on I-5 as a wrong-way vehicle traveling southbound. It was then reported the wrong-way driver had stopped and was blocking a lane with their vehicle while walking in and out of the other lane. A vehicle at that location swerved to avoid hitting him, losing control and rolling as it left the roadway. There were no injuries reported.

The wrong-way driver returned to their vehicle and continued southbound in the northbound lanes of I-5 for 4 miles, exiting at the Birch Bay-Lynden Road interchange. That driver was located soon after. He was initially not compliant with the trooper’s instructions and threatened that he had a bomb. He was eventually placed into custody and taken to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center. It was determined there was no bomb.

Emergency vehicles accessed the rollover scene from the southbound lanes which resulted in a lane closure on that side of the median.

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Washington State Department of Transportation reported all lanes had been reopened in both directions by 2pm.

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