A medical incident caused a fiery fatal crash in December that shut down Interstate 5 near DuPont for 10 hours, Washington State Patrol troopers have determined.
“The causing driver suffered from a medical condition,” State Patrol spokesman Guy Gill said. “There was no input (steering or braking) from him whatsoever before the collision. … He has fainted a few times since the collision, and that could have been what happened to him the day of the crash.”
The Dec. 16 crash happened about 10:15 a.m. when the 61-year-old Sacramento, California, man lost control of his pickup with a rental trailer heading north on I-5. The truck crossed the median near Mounts Road, hit a box truck and rammed head-on into a tractor-trailer.
The tractor-trailer driver, 59-year-old Dale Weaver of Jamestown, Ohio, died in the wreck. The pickup driver was hurt and taken to the hospital. The big rig and box truck caught fire, but the box truck occupants were not seriously injured.
Troopers initially said a medical incident might have caused the crash. Gill said the pickup driver’s wife had been following him at the time of the wreck, and they had stopped for fuel shortly before the crash.
Blood test results showed the California man was not impaired, Gill said.
The investigation is finished, and the case is closed, he added.
Asked whether the man is allowed to continue driving, Gill said: “That’s a decision he is going to have to make. He has been very mindful of his medical condition and cooperating with us the entire time.”
It took more than 10 hours for the southbound freeway to reopen because of the amount of debris, the wreck happening on a busy stretch of I-5, and the extensive investigation required because of the fatality, the State Patrol said.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268