PIERCE COUNTY, WA — One person died Thursday morning on Interstate 5 in Lakewood after their semi-truck was hit by a fleeing vehicle, according to KOMO News.
The Lakewood Police Department said the wreck occurred on the entrance ramp connecting Berkeley Street Southwest to I-5 southbound, shortly after 5:35 a.m.
Preliminary details indicate a Lakewood Police officer patrolling the Tillicum neighborhood had observed a stolen Kia believed to be linked to an armed robbery in Tacoma earlier that morning at 12:45 a.m. After the officer tried to pull over the vehicle, which was occupied by two juvenile boys, the vehicle sped away onto the overpass to Freedom Bridge at a high rate of speed. Authorities said the fleeing vehicle collided with the semi-truck “within 10-15 seconds” after the attempted traffic stop.
The semi-truck, which was crossing the overpass to turn left onto southbound I-5, spun around on impact, causing its driver to eject and land on the freeway below, and the semi to come to rest partially hanging off the ramp.
Officers administered CPR to the semi driver before fire crews arrived at the scene. The victim was rushed to an area hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries.
The two boys, who were extricated from the wreckage of the stolen Kia, suffered injuries considered non-life-threatening. Both suspects are expected to be booked into jail upon their release from nearby hospitals. Lakewood Police said the juveniles face multiple serious charges, including vehicular homicide. Officials have also since learned the suspects may also be connected to an armed robbery that occurred Wednesday evening in King County.
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, a section of I-5 and both Berkeley Street ramps were expected to remain closed for several hours as crews worked to clear a fuel spill and debris.
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