Renton man charged in deadly 2012 I-5 tanker crash, fire

Renton man charged in deadly 2012 I-5 tanker crash, fire

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Renton man charged in deadly 2012 I-5 tanker crash, fire

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 18, 2013 at 3:45 PM

A Renton man has been charged with vehicular homicide in a multiple-vehicle collision last year that caused a tanker truck full of aviation fuel to crash and explode, killing the truck driver.

The crash happened on Interstate 5 near Federal Way around 2 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2012.

Prosecutors say Stephen J. Palmer, 22, was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when he lost control of his Nissan Altima and crashed into a guardrail.

Palmer and his three passengers got out of the car which was still in the roadway, prosecutors say. Then another vehicle hit the Altima and ended up on the shoulder.

That’s when, according to prosecutors, the tanker driven by Joseph Bartkowski, 68, approached the crash scene. He tried to avoid the Altima, but lost control and hit a barrier, causing the truck to explode.

Palmer is also charged with reckless endangerment.

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