A FedEx semi-truck crashed and caught fire on Interstate 5 in Seattle Wednesday, making a normally tough morning commute much worse. It was compounded by multiple collisions on alternate routes.
It happened around 4:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes under the Washington State Convention Center. The truck, hauling two trailers, crashed just before the ramp to Interstate 90 and blocked all lanes.
Troopers at the scene said the driver may have been going too fast for the wet conditions and hit the brakes when approaching another vehicle, causing the truck to jackknife. The driver of the empty truck was not hurt.
"We were there not too long ago," said Estella Garza, who was sleeping under the overpass."And by the grace of God, I'm lucky to be alive."
It took large tow trucks several hours to move the trailers, but by then, the backup was five miles long. By noon, one lane remained closed at the scene.
Drivers heeded warnings and took alternate routes, such as the I-5 express lanes and State Route 99, but those backed up quickly. A number of accidents in those backups made things even worse. Side streets in Seattle were also affected.
The Washington State Patrol reported that the lane closure time was 8 hours, 18 minutes.