UPDATE: Whatcom traffic slowed along southbound I-5 by crash following semi’s ‘wild ride’

A crash that caused a diesel spill slowed southbound traffic Wednesday morning along Interstate 5 in Whatcom County.

The crash occurred shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Trooper Jacob Kennett told The Bellingham Herald, when the driver of a northbound semi-truck fell asleep, went through the median and across both southbound lanes.

“It sounds like a pretty wild ride, but fortunately there was no southbound traffic at the time,” Kennett said.

The Washington State Department of Transportation first reported the crash on Twitter, saying it was blocking all lanes just south of Peace Portal Drive (milepost 273).

WSDOT also reported that the incident created a diesel spill, though Kennett said that was limited to what was in the truck, as it was hauling a cargo container.

A follow-up WSDOT tweet stated that the Washington State Patrol was on scene and that southbound vehicles were working their way around the incident on the shoulder of I-5.

A crash Tuesday, Sept. 28, along Interstate 5 in Whatcom County snarled traffic throughout the morning. The Washington State Patrol reports that the incident occurred when the driver of a northbound semi fell asleep, crossed the median and ended up blocking both southbound lanes.
A crash Tuesday, Sept. 28, along Interstate 5 in Whatcom County snarled traffic throughout the morning. The Washington State Patrol reports that the incident occurred when the driver of a northbound semi fell asleep, crossed the median and ended up blocking both southbound lanes.

“Right now, some traffic gets by on the right shoulder around this collision on southbound I-5 just south of Peace Portal Drive, south of Blaine,” WSDOT tweeted at 6:53 a.m. “That said, travelers should still consider alternate routes due to the backup. Please drive slowly near flashing lights.”

As of 8:40 a.m., WSDOT video showed vehicles were still using the shoulder to get around, and WSDOT said “alternate routes are highly recommended.”

“It’s taking longer than expected to clean up,” Kennett said. “The tows are having a really hard time loading it up, because the truck was so damaged.”

As of 10 a.m., WSDOT tweeted that the right lane had reopened, though crews remained on scene and the left lane was closed, reporting “Almost there folks!”

At 10:24 a.m., more than five hours after the crash, WSDOT sent notice that the incident had been cleared.

A crash involving a semi truck early Wednesday, Sept. 28, blocked both southbound lanes of Interstate 5 south of Blaine, near milepost 273.
A crash involving a semi truck early Wednesday, Sept. 28, blocked both southbound lanes of Interstate 5 south of Blaine, near milepost 273.