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WSP: Semi’s last-minute swerve into fence may have saved lives


Washington State Patrol says a serious crash was avoided on Tuesday thanks to a truck driver’s quick thinking. 

The incident happened in Union Gap, Washington along eastbound Interstate 82 on Tuesday, December 21st at around 10 a.m. 

According to YakTriNews, State Patrol trooper was pulled over on the side of eastbound Interstate 82 near exit 36 investigating a motorist. After the motorist was let go, they pulled out onto the highway in front of a FedEx truck, forcing the FedEx truck to swerve. The FedEx truck’s swerve caused it to be rear-ended by another SUV, and that’s when an oncoming semi driver had to make a quick decision. 

Realizing what was going on up ahead, the truck driver locked his brakes and was able to successfully avoid hitting the wrecked vehicles and the patrol vehicle that was still parked on the shoulder of the highway. However, the sudden braking caused the rig to jackknife, and it ended up crashing into a fence dividing the highway from the nearby Rudkin Road. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt, and troopers say a lot of that has to do with the trucker’s quick thinking. 

“After that [motorist] was contacted, the vehicle pulled back into traffic in an unsafe manner and caused the crash,” said WSP Sgt. Rob Morris. 

“He [the truck driver] did the safest thing he could at that time to avoid causing injury or death to other people on the highway,” Morris said. “As far as we can tell, he did the right thing.”

The motorist who caused the collision is cooperating with the investigation and Morris says that they will likely face charges. 

“We just want people to be aware of that: increase their speed down the shoulder when it’s safe to do so and merge back into traffic safely instead of pulling right out in front of traffic,” Morris said.


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