LAKEWOOD, Wash. — A major crash involving a suspect and several emergency response vehicles on I-5 near Lakewood closed all northbound lanes for hours Monday.
Just before 1 a.m., a semi truck caught fire on northbound I-5 near Berkeley Street. A Washington State Department of Transportation crew, troopers and multiple fire crews responded and were partially blocking northbound I-5.
Meanwhile, a suspect in a Chevy Tahoe was being chased by Thurston County deputies, but deputies ended pursuit and the suspect continued on I-5, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Crews were still at the scene at 3:50 a.m. when the Tahoe in the earlier pursuit crashed into emergency crews, including two fire trucks, a patrol car and a WSDOT vehicle, troopers said. Another passenger car was also involved.
The driver and passenger in the Tahoe were seriously hurt and were taken to the hospital. No one else was injured.
Troopers said the driver will face charges when he's released from the hospital.
Schools in the Clover Park district were two hours late and there was no preschool.
Along with clearing damaged vehicles from the highway, WSDOT crews have to pick up the semi's load: Boxes from the Cheesecake Factory containing shrimp and cheesecake, among other food items.
Shortly before 2 p.m., all northbound lanes reopened.
"The area through here, JBLM, is all under construction right now. There is no shoulders available, there's jersey walls on either side of the road, so there's no way to get through other than I-5," said WSP Trooper Ryan Burke.
"It's already kind of an annoying hassle to commute there then when it like doubles the commute, it's definitely headache," said Isabel Boe, who was stuck in traffic.
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