While fire crews and Washington State Patrol troopers responded to a report of a semi-truck trailer on fire on northbound Interstate 5, a vehicle entered the scene, striking several fire trucks as well as a Washington State Department of Transportation vehicle.
Following the crash, officials attempted to stop the driver but were unsuccessful. After the vehicle took off, officials attempted to pursue it but decided against it in order to avoid an accident.
Officials eventually caught the hit-and-run driver and his passenger. Both suffered serious injuries due to the collision but thankfully, the crash didn’t expose any first responders to injuries.
After the collision, authorities closed all lanes of the road.
According to news reports, before entering the scene of the semi-truck trailer fire, the vehicle was being pursued by the Tumwater Police and Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
Washington state law states that drivers must move over a lane or slow down if they spot an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder of the highway. This also includes police cars and fire trucks.
When responding to an accident, first responders work hard to assess the situation and help those in need as soon as possible. They often risk their own lives to save others.
When drivers are disrespectful, reckless, intoxicated, or distracted and they break the law by not moving over or stopping, they disturb the scene of an accident and put the lives of these brave men and women in danger.
This is one of the many reasons why drivers of all ages must, from time to time, refresh their knowledge of traffic laws.
We hope that this accident reminds drivers across Washington that following the law is not only about avoiding citations. When you drive responsibly, you also make the roads safer.
For more on the accident, follow this link.