ARLINGTON, Wash. — One person died and another was critically injured when a rental vehicle slammed into the back of a work truck Wednesday morning in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near the Stillaguamish River Bridge in Arlington.
The crash completely blocked all southbound lanes for hours.
Trooper Jacob Kennett with the Washington State Patrol said the crash occurred just after 10 a.m. and involved one vehicle and a work truck with an attenuator - intended to reduce injuries.
The driver of the rental truck, a 22-year-old male from Burlington, died at the scene.
A 32-year-old female contract worker from Tacoma was thrown from the work truck and sustained critical injuries. Her injuries are not life threatening, according to law enforcement.
What led to the crash remains under investigation.
Troopers were at the scene investigating and detoured traffic for multiple hours. The backup from the closure reached six miles around noon, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Traffic fully reopened around 2 p.m., according to WSDOT.
"This is someone's mom, someone's dad or brother or family member," said Trooper Kelsey Harding of the Washington State Patrol. "It's somebody's loved one. Knowing that they're not going to get their loved one home this evening is heartbreaking."
Harding added, regardless of the cause of the crash, the tragedy is a good reminder to always pay full attention to the road.
Troopers are asking anyone who may have video of the crash to contact them as soon as possible.
This was the eighth traffic death on I-5 in Snohomish County so far in 2022.
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