Troopers say a semi truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and faces serious charges for the accidents that blocked all lanes of southbound I-5 in Tumwater.
"I woke up and it was too late," said 22-year-old Gus Hulstein, who was at the wheel of the semi truck when it crashed at about 5:30 a.m.
The driver crashed into a WSDOT truck and then continued to go through the Jersey barrier and into the lanes going southbound.
Truck parts, pieces of concrete and fluid debris covered the freeway. Packaged paper pulp was also material on the truck causing a long cleanup.
Thankfully no one was in the WSDOT truck. No one was injured in the semi truck accident.
The freeway reopened at 10:30 a.m. this morning after the semi rolled on its side and the freeway crew workers cleared the semi and roadway debris.
There are also about 50 gallons of gasoline that spilled from the semi truck causing the Department of Ecology to the rush to the scene.
Hulstein will probably face charges of negligent driving, which carries a $500 fine, the State Patrol said. However, he could also face additional fines as troopers say they have proof Hustein falsified his driver’s log.
Troopers say the trucking company and/or driver could be subject for the clean-up costs, which could be at least tens-of-thousands of dollars.
Semi Truck Accident & Trucking Collision Statistics
There are over 500,000 truck accidents in the United States every year. A high number of these truck accidents result in fatalities. Approximately 5,000 die in truck accidents annually. Ninety-eight percent of the time, the passengers or driver in the other vehicle is killed as opposed to driver or passengers in the truck.
Causes of Semi Truck & Tractor Trailer Truck Accidents
There are many causes for semi truck accidents but some of the most common causes are:
1. Driver Fatigue
2. Substance Abuse
4. Failure to adhere to the rules of the road
5. Failure to properly maintain trucks
6. Improperly loaded trucks or cargo shifting
7. Under-inflated tires