BLAINE - An 80-year-old Canadian driver tried to make a U-turn in the median of Interstate 5 near Blaine but was struck by a semi truck Thursday afternoon, Feb. 14.
Leonard M. Bessner, of West Vancouver, B.C., zipped from the right lane of southbound I-5 toward a gravel strip in the median - cutting off a semi driver in the left lane at 12:50 p.m. near the Peace Portal Drive exit, said Washington State Trooper Mark Francis.
The big rig jackknifed when the tractor slammed into the back of Bessner's 2008 Mercedes Benz B200. The car rumbled into the median. It was totaled.
Bessner hit his head but was otherwise unhurt. He was taken to St. Joseph hospital as a precaution. Troopers said he acted dazed. According to Francis, he said he "just wanted to go back to Canada."
The 53-year-old semi driver, of Chilliwack, B.C., wasn't hurt. His vehicle took about $1,000 in damage and had to be towed away, according to the state patrol. A lane of traffic was stalled for a little more than an hour.
Charges against Bessner are pending. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts.