Wrong-way driver killed on SR 520, westbound lanes reopen

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 22 at 11:01 AM

SEATTLE -- A driver going the wrong way on SR 520 was killed early Wednesday after she crashed head-on into a dump truck.

WSDOT crews have reopened all lanes westbound 520 after the fatal collision forced all lanes to close for several hours overnight.

Washington State Patrol said a woman was driving the correct direction on SR 520 around 3:30 a.m when she hit a construction barrier.  She did not have her lights on and she stopped her vehicle. That's when she was rear-ended by a vehicle.

The collision spun her car 180 degrees. State Patrol said for some reason the woman started to drive again without her lights on, traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes.  She collided head-on with a dump truck carrying a full load, and she was killed instantly.

Troopers believe alcohol was a factor.

No word if the driver of the truck was injured. State Patrol says the truck driver likely didn't see her coming.

"We're told by witnesses that at both times, there were no lights at all on the vehicle. Obviously in the dark, it would be very hard to see," said Trooper Julie Startup. "I'm not sure if this semi driver was very aware it was even happening."

The impact left a debris field longer than the length of a football field. Startup said the impact of the collision was so severe, they haven't been able to positively identify the driver killed.

All westbound 520 lanes were closed while police conducted their investigation. WSDOT crews reopened the westbound lanes shortly after 9 a.m.

KING 5's Jake Whittenberg and Liza Javier contributed to this report.

 

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