Sixth crash in 4-month span damages barrier on same I-5 curve near SR-16

A semi struck the barrier on I-5 near SR 16 in Tacoma early Wednesday morning, blocking both directions of traffic before the start of the morning commute. (Photo courtesy: Washington State Patrol)

TACOMA, Wash. -- Yet again, traffic came to a halt on I-5 near State Route 16 in Tacoma for a semi crash into a barrier in a location that transportation officials have deemed problematic in recent months.

Just after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, a semi struck the barrier on southbound I-5 at S. M. St., blocking all lanes of traffic in both directions in a closure that lasted for several hours. Crews reopened the freeway around 7:10 a.m.

According to Washington State Patrol, the truck spilled about 120 gallons of fuel onto the roadway, which they said was the most out of the now six crashes that have occurred in this general area since late September. All the crashes have occurred in the late evening or early morning hours. The most recent crash happened about a week ago on Jan. 17.

Minor injuries occurred in this crash, and investigators have not determined if the driver of the semi will be cited. State patrol said another collision happened northbound shortly afterward because of the barrier damage from the first collision, and minor injuries were suffered in that crash too.

Troopers say the causing semi driver was cited for negligent driving, which carries a $550 fine.

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