The Washington State Patrol said either drugs or alcohol were involved in a crash early Sunday on Interstate 5 in Federal Way that killed one person, injured four others and blocked all southbound lanes of the freeway for hours.
The three-car crash occurred about 2:30 a.m. when a 21-year-old lost control of the car he was driving and hit the freeway barrier, according to the State Patrol.
Another car hit the first vehicle, and a double-tanker truck crashed into that car and ran off the roadway, rolled over and caught fire, the State Patrol said.
The driver of the truck, identified by the State Patrol as 68-year-old Joseph Bartkowski of Sumner, died at the scene.
The state Department of Transportation said the truck was loaded with gasoline and punctured a freeway sound wall. The resulting fire ignited a storage tanker on the other side of the sound wall, the state DOT said.
The 21-year-old driver of the car that hit the barrier was booked into King County Jail, according to the State Patrol. He was one of those injured in the crash.
The State Patrol still was investigating the cause of the crash.
The driver and two passengers in the second car were taken to St. Francis Hospital with injuries.
All lanes of southbound I-5 were closed until 7:50 a.m., when an HOV lane opened. The freeways other lanes were closed for the investigation until just before 10 a.m.
Some cleanup was hampered by small pools of fuel that ignited after the collision and small crashes in the northbound lanes as drivers looked at the wreck, Noel Brady of the state DOT said.
Crews closed the two right lanes of the southbound freeway near the crash about 6 p.m. Sunday to remove the truck.
As many as nine sound wall panels along I-5 were damaged in the crash, Brady said.
Home page editor Kate McEntee contributed to this report.