MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. - Just before midnight on Sunday, on northbound I-5 just near 220th in Mountlake Terrace, a tanker truck carrying liquid nitrogen rolled over onto another vehicle, killing that vehicle’s 22-year-old driver. The driver’s friends identify the victim as Magarbi Matthew.
Matthew was a petty officer second class in the Navy. Most recently, he was stationed on the USS Nimitz in Everett. He was an aviation ordnanceman. Matthew grew up on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. His friends in the Navy saw video of the crash and recognized his car, a 2002 Honda Accord.
Hazmat crews blocked off all northbound lanes of I-5 after the crash because they needed to contain the liquid nitrogen spill. They had to pump out 60 percent of the truck’s liquid before it could be moved. The process took about eight hours.
Washington State Patrol troopers will be investigating. The 51-year-old driver of the tanker truck was not seriously hurt and is cooperating with authorities. He did not appear to be impaired. A state trooper said it appears Matthew’s car spun out of control as it tried to pass the tanker.
Matthew’s friends in the U.S. Virgin Islands found out he was dead through Facebook. Chade Edwards told us Monday night from St. John, “He was always moving forward, looking forward to tomorrow.”
Edwards added, “ I’m still hoping somebody tells me it’s not real.”