A 46-year-old Yelm man was killed early Friday in one of two collisions that blocked southbound Interstate 5 near state Route 512 in Lakewood.
Washington State Patrol troopers had trouble sorting out the confusing scene, which included six vehicles from two wrecks, two suspected drunken drivers and a victim who drove away before authorities arrived.
All southbound lanes of the freeway were closed from about 2:30 to 6 a.m.
The man who died has not been identified. He was a passenger in a Ford Explorer involved in the initial crash with two other cars, trooper Todd Bartolac said. A fourth vehicle then smashed into the Explorer, pushing it into a Ford F350 pickup.
The injured passenger was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center, where he died.
The 22-year-old man who drove into the initial collision was taken to a hospital and received stitches before being booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence.
No one else was hurt.
Bartolac said motorists called 911 shortly before the initial crash to report the driver who drove into the wreck was driving erratically.
Moments after that crash, the driver of a fifth vehicle hit a traffic barrier and another car about 100 feet from the first scene.
That driver, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI, hit a barrel acting as a traffic barrier to keep drivers out of a construction area. The driver of the car that was hit fled the scene for unknown reasons.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653