Dramatic crash halts southbound I-5 traffic in Seattle

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SEATTLE - A major rollover, multiple injury crash blocked all southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in Seattle, bringing traffic on the freeway to an 8-mile standstill Thursday afternoon.  Crews cleared the scene, and the lanes reopened at about 4:15 p.m.

The crash occurred shortly after 2 p.m., when the driver of a semi-truck that was apparently going too fast for conditions saw a lineup of slowed vehicles too late, swerved and overturned, troopers said.

According to Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore, the semi-truck and two cars overturned near the Holgate exit.  The overturned semi blocked all four southbound I-5 lanes.

One person was pinned against the steering wheel of a car but was extricated.  It is not known how many others were hurt, but more ambulances had to be summoned because there were multiple injuries.

Video from Chopper 7 showed numerous fire vehicles and personnel at the scene.

The semi-truck's cab appeared to have directly impacted the side of a sedan in which the driver was trapped.  A passenger truck was also on its side.

Moore said fuel spilled on the roadway.

WSDOT urged drivers to use alternate routes, including SR 99 and local streets, as southbound traffic into and through the downtown area backed up as far as Northgate Mall, 8 miles away.

Crews directed some drivers stuck in the backup to go northbound in the southbound lanes so they could connect to the collector distributor lanes.