KIRO 7 spotted an open 18-pack of beer in the back of the car that set off a chain-reaction crash on an Interstate 5 off-ramp Sunday night.
Three people in five cars were hurt, and troopers suspect the driver who caused it had been using drugs and alcohol.
The most seriously injured person is the driver who caused the crash, identified by the Washington State Patrol as Adrian J. Perez Gonzalez, 32.
Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said he was in serious condition in intensive care.
Another family was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Marilyn Taumoefolau's shoulder blade is broken and she has cuts and bruises.
“It was such excruciating pain I thought maybe I was dying," Taumoefolau said.
Her two year old granddaughter, Naomi, has a fractured leg bone that will put her in a cast for two months.
Gonzalez also struck a vehicle filled with seven members of the Sidhu family.
None of them were hurt, but they were rattled.
"It's pretty scary, even my hands are still shaking," said Kamal Sidhu.