30-car pileup near Ellensburg forces 8-hour closure of eastbound I-90
Dec. 7, 2022 Updated Wed., Dec. 7, 2022 at 7:51 p.m.
(Washington State Patrol)
Thirty vehicles collided early Wednesday morning on Interstate 90, forcing an eight-hour closure of the eastbound lanes of the freeway east of Ellensburg.
The crash near Kittitas was reported in the eastbound lanes about 5:15 a.m. First responders arrived at 5:25 a.m., Washington State Patrol Trooper Collin Cumaravel said.
Some lanes reopened at 3:20 p.m., Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Summer Derrey said. All lanes were open again by Wednesday evening.
The crash involved 12 semitrucks and 18 cars, WSP said in a tweet. Freezing fog and speeding was a main contributor to the collision, WSP said.
“The fortunate thing in this situation is there were a lot of routes around this closure,” Derrey said.
Drivers were able to travel around the closure along Interstate 82 or the Vantage Highway, she said.
There were five people who reported minor injuries as a result of the crash, Cumaravel said. Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Rich Elliott said one person suffered a broken leg and another suffered minor lacerations.
An overturned semitruck spilled Rainier apples near the front of the pileup, he said. There were also multiple semitrucks that had jack-knifed near the front of the pileup, he said.
It was not clear which vehicle was responsible for the initial crash as of Wednesday.
Tow trucks were staging the wrecked vehicles out of the way at about 2:30 p.m. in an effort to clear the interstate, Cumaravel said. The damaged vehicles would then be transported, he said.
A 15-vehicle collision also closed I-90 near the Snoqualmie Pass on Sunday due to snowy conditions.
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