Traffic

Another semi crash, fuel spill in Tacoma blocked both directions of I-5 for hours

A semi-trailer jackknifed on a rain-slicked Interstate 5 in Tacoma early Tuesday and crashed into a barrier, closing both directions of traffic for several hours.

Northbound lanes reopened at 7:45 a.m. Southbound lanes reopened at 8 a.m.

About 50 gallons of fuel spilled in the collision and crews were working to clean it up.

This is the eighth time a semi has wrecked on this stretch of freeway near state Route 16 in the last six months.

The driver was not injured and was cited for second-degree negligent driving, which carries a $550 fine.

“Speed, wet roadway and inexperience are all causing factors,” Trooper Johnna Batiste tweeted.

The crash occurred about 3:25 a.m. in the southbound lanes.

The driver lost control and struck the barrier, pushing it into the northbound lanes.

By 7:30 a.m. a tow truck had carried the wrecked semi away and state Department of Washington crews were moving the barrier back into place.

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Both directions of Interstate 5 were blocked and backed up early Tuesday after a semi jackknifed and crashed into a barrier. Washington state Department of Transportation

All of this semi crashes in this area in recent months have happened in the early morning hours and when I-5 was wet from rain. In each case, the driver was cited for negligent driving.

Troopers held an emphasis patrol on I-5 near SR 16 in late February because “the recent high profile collisions in the ongoing construction zone warrant” it, according to a State Patrol news release.

Officials said semis in part keep crashing in this spot, which has been under construction since May, because the lanes are narrower through the work zone.

Lanes are usually 12-feet wide. They are 11-feet wide in the construction zone, with 2-foot wide shoulders.

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