The Washington State Patrol (WSP) reported that two major accidents prompted a traffic backup that stretched for nearly five miles of Interstate 5 in Federal Way. At least one of the major crashes resulted in a fatality. The first accident happened at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday on the southbound lanes of I-5, near the Washington State Convention Center.
Officials said that a multi-vehicle accident brought the traffic to a near standstill, making the evening commute worse to many drivers leaving the downtown area. Emergency personnel had to extract one occupant from one of the vehicles involved in the accident.
The second collision involved a vehicle that rolled on I-5 just south of S. 320th Street later on the same day.
The 38-year-old driver was traveling north when he reportedly had a medical emergency, causing him to veer off the road. The car then crashed into a tree before rolling over.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, officials added. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.
WSP Investigates Accident, Officials Urge Washington Drivers To Buckle Up
While officials are still investigating the accident, we know that at least one victim was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the collision. Drivers reading this report should keep in mind that auto features such as seat belts are designed with the safety of car occupants in mind.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 45% and the risk of serious injury by 50%. That’s why Washington law requires all drivers and passengers who are older than 8-years-old or taller than four feet and nine inches to wear a seat belt. Unfortunately, many drivers still fail to follow seat belt laws.
We hope that this tragic accident helps other drivers to put safety first, remembering to always buckle up and follow all traffic laws.
For more on the two accidents that snarled traffic on I-5 this past Wednesday, follow this link.