• WSP: 2,392 semitruck crashes so far in 2018

    By: Shelby Miller

    Updated:

    Smashed semis and mangled metal shut down all lanes of I-5 multiple days this week. 

    Chopper 7 captured video of Wednesday night’s crash in Lacey that had commuters at a standstill for hours.

    "I know all the back roads since I live out in the country, so I just went around it. Someone told me it took (them) two hours to get around town,” said driver Sheryl Seggern. 

    “That's all it is, is driving too fast in the weather, and they don't want to seem to slow up for some reason,” said Paul Bressi, owner of Nisqually Automotive and Towing.

    Washington State Patrol Trooper Johnna Batiste said wet roads and speeding are blamed for Wednesday’s crash, which involved multiple semis. That was far from the first accident she's seen lately. 

    "We've had a rough go the past couple months with these collisions involving semitrucks,” said Batiste.

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    On Tuesday, an accident had I-5 in Tacoma completely shut down. 

    "Traffic is getting horrendous. I hate going up to Tacoma. When I have to go up there it's a total pain. It's been under construction since I was born, I think,” said driver Mike Belgin.

    Two weeks ago, a semi crashed and spilled powdered milk across I-5 in Maytown.

    "At this point, there's been so many that I've really lost count,” said Batiste. 

    KIRO 7 asked Batiste if troopers have responded to more crashes this year. She said she was surprised by the numbers.

    So far this year, WSP's responded to 43,951 crashes, which is down more than 7,000 from the 51,261 in 2017. Of those, 2,392 involved semitrucks in 2018 and 2,665 involved semitrucks in 2017. 

    However, more semitruck drivers have been caught speeding. Troopers have written 20,543 tickets this year, compared to 19,244 written in 2017.  

    "I think people are just traveling too fast for the weather, and everyone's in a hurry and no one wants to slow down anymore,” said Seggern.

    WSP said they are working to crack down on crashes by assigning troopers to watch for speeding semis. 

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