A crash between a semi truck and an SUV left a woman seriously injured Tuesday and backed up state Route 16 and side streets in downtown Gig Harbor for hours.
The crash happened about 2:15 p.m. when a woman driving an SUV lost control of the vehicle coming off the on-ramp from Wollochet Drive Northwest to eastbound state Route 16, Washington State Patrol trooper Guy Gill said.
The SUV slid across the eastbound lanes, in front of the semi, and was hit.
Medics took the 47-year-old Gig Harbor woman to the hospital, where she was treated for life-threatening injuries, according to Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One.
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The semi driver suffered minor injuries, Gill said
Troopers said the SUV driver appeared to be driving too fast for the conditions.
Crews had their hands full clearing the road.
The overturned semi, a dump truck, carried topsoil that covered the eastbound lanes after the wreck.
“The semi is one thing, but we also have a significant amount of topsoil to move off the roadway,” Gill said.
The eastbound freeway was still backed up about 6 miles as of 7 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation, before the wreck was cleared about 40 minutes later.
Westbound traffic also slowed from the distraction of the wreck, Gill said.
Crews diverted traffic to Wollochet, where streets were snarled in the city late into the evening.
Alex Dyson said he’d been working at the Kimball Espresso Gallery, just off the freeway at 6950 Kimball Dr., since 2 p.m.
Kimball Drive had been backed up throughout the day, he said toward the end of his shift about 6 p.m., and he’d had more business than usual.
“A lot of people stopping in for coffee, because they don’t want to make it out on the freeway,” he said.
Further into downtown, traffic wasn’t better.
Travis Guterson, head brewer and co-owner of 7 Seas Brewing at 3006 Judson St., said about 6:15 p.m. that he had just finished running around the harbor, and had jogged faster than the vehicles.
“It’s not that it’s at a complete standstill, but it’s literally bumper to bumper,” he said. “I was out for probably 45 minutes or an hour, and I didn’t see any increase in the flow of traffic. A lot of frustrated looking people.”
He still had to make his way home to Tacoma, he said.