A truck lost control Tuesday night on northbound Interstate 5 in Bellingham and plunged over an overpass onto Lakeway Drive, pinning the driver underneath the truck.
The 39-year-old Arizona driver, who was not believed to be impaired, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, Washington State Patrol Trooper Kelsey Harding told The Bellingham Herald.
The crash occurred shortly before 10:15 p.m., Oct. 12, according to the PulsePoint app.
The truck, a red 1999 Ford F-250, failed to properly negotiate a curve to the right along the interstate and went left into the median with its left tires, Harding reported. The truck then reentered the freeway, crossed both lanes, struck the guardrail and rolled over the guardrail from the overpass onto Lakeway Drive below. The truck came to rest on the driver's side.
The clearance under the Lakeway overpass posted on the bridge is 13 feet, 10 inches.
The Bellingham Fire Department arrived to find the driver pinned under the truck, but still conscious and able to speak to firefighters, spokesperson Dustin Michaelis told The Herald.
"It was kind of tricky extrication," Michaelis said of the rescue that took less than a half-hour to perform, "but we were able to get him free with these airbags that we can inflate and lift up the vehicle."
Once firefighters were able to get him free, he was taken to St. Joseph's hospital in Bellingham and later flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with injuries that Harding said were not believed to be life-threatening.
The crash damaged 10 to 12 guardrail posts on the overpass, Harding said, but the highway was not closed due to the incident. The Washington State Department of Transportation is evaluating the best time to make repairs and minimize the impact on traffic in the area, spokesperson Meggan Carrigg Davidson told The Herald in an email.
Bellingham Public Works reported no damage done to Lakeway by the falling truck, but staff did provide support by helping police barricade the road and street sweeping after the truck was removed, spokesperson Riley Grant told The Herald in an email.