LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Washington State Patrol is investigating a fatal accident involving a box truck and a van on I-5 in Lakewood that backed up traffic for several hours Monday morning.
The accident happened around 3:30 a.m. on northbound I-5 just north of Highway 512. West Pierce Fire & Rescue units said a large moving truck rear ended a mini-van that had stopped in the middle lane of I-5. The impact crumpled the metal of the van, trapping the occupants inside.
Rescuers and paramedics rushed to the scene and cut through the van's metal to get to the passengers. The passenger in the back seat of the van, a 24-year-old Lacey woman, was killed.
Two people in the front seats of the van were injured and taken to a hospital. State troopers say their injuries were non-life threatening. The driver of the moving van was transported to a hospital for neck injuries.
"It appears the van began becoming disabled, slowing down if not coming to a stop on the freeway," said Washington State Trooper Guy Gill. "The driver of the semi truck indicated the van came over from lane one into lane two and he struck the rear of the van at that time."
At the height of the closure, three left lanes of northbound I-5 were blocked. Washington State Patrol re-opened the lanes around 8:30 a.m.