WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to the southbound lanes of I-5 at the Nooksack River bridge in Ferndale about 4:15pm due to a report of an injury crash or multiple crashes involving several vehicles including a semi-truck.
Washington State Patrol troopers closed the southbound lanes and directed traffic off I-5 at Portal Way.
WSP Trooper Jacob Kennett said 1 person was declared dead at the crash scene.
Initial reports from the scene were of 16 vehicles plus a semi-truck involved.
There had been reports of freezing rain leading up to the crash.
Kennett advised, “We are experiencing freezing rain across all of Whatcom County. Please stay in if you can and if you are out, slow down.”
Officials with Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office advised motorists across Whatcom County to be “extra cautious out on the roads tonight. As temperatures drop, driving conditions become quite treacherous with black ice, especially north of Pole Road and south by Lake Samish. Deputies have responded to numerous collisions from black ice conditions this afternoon.”
UPDATE 8pm – WSP reopened the southbound lanes of I-5.
In a WSP press memo released later, a 66-year-old man from Deming was identified as the deceased. The crash investigation determined the 2006 Subaru Baja he had been driving had spun out and came to a rest sideways across both lanes. It was then struck by 2 other vehicles, a 2006 Lexus passenger car and a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado pickup.
The drivers of the other vehicles were not injured.
WSP investigators determined the deceased was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash and that neither alcohol nor drugs were considered a factor in the crash.
The latest traffic volumes and conditions are always viewable on the Whatcom News traffic page.