Local

‘No one has come forward,’ says trooper about I-5 crash that halted traffic Wednesday

Northbound traffic on Interstate 5 through Olympia was slowed Wednesday morning after a dump truck is believed to have triggered a serious injury crash when it changed lanes, according to the Washington State Patrol. The crash happened near exit 107 on I-5 just before 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Trooper Todd Bartolac said.
Northbound traffic on Interstate 5 through Olympia was slowed Wednesday morning after a dump truck is believed to have triggered a serious injury crash when it changed lanes, according to the Washington State Patrol. The crash happened near exit 107 on I-5 just before 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Trooper Todd Bartolac said. Staff file, 2016

A day after a Tumwater woman was injured in a crash on northbound Interstate 5 in Olympia, a trooper with the Washington State Patrol said the driver of a dump truck thought to be involved in the crash has not come forward.

And as more time passes, the incident increasingly becomes more suspicious, Trooper Todd Bartolac said.

“We just need to talk to the driver,” he said.

Bartolac said Thursday that state patrol detectives and its commercial vehicles division are both involved in the investigation. One approach has been to slowly eliminate dump trucks in the Olympia area by checking with local gravel yards.

After the crash at about 6:20 a.m. Wednesday, a witness said the word “Rinkle” was spelled on the side of the light blue truck. Since then, the state patrol has learned that “Rinkle” was not the precise word and are now checking for words similar to it.

The light blue truck also features gold lettering, Bartolac said.

“We’re looking,” he said.

It’s not unusual for a large truck on the road to change lanes and trigger a crash inadvertently, or for the driver to sometimes be unaware of the vehicles around them. Bartolac recalled an incident in which the driver of a tractor-trailer looked down at the road and noticed he was pushing a small car in front of him.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

Meanwhile, the 34-year-old Tumwater woman who was injured in Wednesday’s crash, was still in fair condition on Thursday, said Chris Thomas, a spokesman for Providence St. Peter Hospital. The 1-year-old boy in her car was not injured, according to the state patrol.

A 54-year-old Rochester man driving a mobile crane also go caught up in the crash. He was not injured.

Related stories from The Olympian

  Comments