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UPDATED: Multiple crashes impact I-5 lanes south of Bellingham

Washington State Patrol collision technicians investigate a fatality incident on northbound I-5 at the N Lake Samish interchange (December 21, 2021). Photo courtesy of WSP

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — First responders were dispatched about 6:15am today, December 21st, to a report of a rollover crash in the northbound lanes of I-5 near the N Lake Samish Drive interchange.

Washington State Patrol troopers reported via radio there was “extremely icy” conditions with several non-injury collisions encountered in the backup.

As of 6:30am, the traffic backup in the southbound lanes extended 5 miles to north of the Old Fairhaven Parkway (SR11) interchange.

By 7am, WSP dispatch was advising of multiple crashes in both the northbound and southbound lanes in the area.

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Traffic flow graphic as of 7am on December 21, 2021. Source: Google Maps

Temperatures in the area were reported by nearby weather stations to be in the upper 20s and lower 30s.

WSP Trooper Jacob Kennett said 1 person has pronounced deceased at PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center as a result of injuries suffered in a collision. The victim had been in a vehicle that had rolled in a crash and was later struck by another vehicle while standing outside their vehicle.

The northbound right lane in the area of the N Lake Samish interchange will be closed for an extended period while WSP technicians investigate that incident. Update: The lane was reopened about 9:30am.

At least 1 other patient had been transported with non-life-threatening injuries from the initial rollover crash scene according to the PulsePoint EMS dispatch log.

As of 8am, Kennett said troopers were still dealing with multiple crashes, including some involving rollovers, through the area in both directions and WSDOT had equipment out applying salt and sand to the still icy road surface.

As of 9:30am, both northbound and southbound lanes through the area are reported continued to be blocked due to disabled vehicles that had been involved in crashes and the tow trucks removing them.

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