FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Drowsy driving may have caused the driver of a semi truck to hit a guardrail and roll his truck, dumping 40,000 pounds of chicken feathers onto northbound I-5 in Federal Way and causing a backup that stretched to Tacoma.
The crash just south of South 320th Street happened around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Initially, four lanes were closed by the crash. All lanes were back open more than four hours later. At the height of the commute, traffic was backed up 17 miles.
Washington State Department of Transportation crews had a big mess to clean up. Heavy equipment was brought in to scoop up mounds of feathers, which were heading to Canada for agricultural use, but some of the mess had to be cleaned up by hand.
Nine hours later, crews were still cleaning up feathers in the I-5 median.
There was also the matter of the rolled over semi. A heavy-duty tow truck had to be brought in to bring the crashed rig upright again and then tow it from the scene.
Guardrail repairs were also needed.
The driver did not hit any other vehicles and was not hurt, but the Washington State Patrol said he told troopers he felt drowsy before the crash. He also told KIRO 7 Traffic Reporter Tracy Taylor he woke up when he hit the guardrail.
The driver is facing a negligent driving citation, but WSP says if someone had been hurt or killed in the crash, he would have faced a vehicular homicide or assault charge.
The driver, his employer, or its insurance company will be billed for the guardrail damage and tow services, a trooper said.
More news from KIRO 7
- Semi crash dumps massive load of feathers, blocks I-5 in Federal Way
- PHOTOS: Semi crash spills load of chicken feathers across I-5
- Long-time Seattle glass artist's 'hot shop' to be demolished for luxury apartments
- 1 person bitten by rabid bat at University of Washington
- City tries PR campaign as part of encampment sweeps
© 2019 Cox Media Group.