DUI Arrest of Semi-truck Driver Follows Serious Crash on Interstate 5

Washington State troopers arrested a semi-truck driver on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in connection with a crash on Interstate 5 near Chehalis this week.

A man in his 30s whose vehicle was struck by the out-of-control semi had to be extricated from the wreckage and airlifted to the hospital with a Life-Flight helicopter that landed on the freeway.
The accident happened January 6, 2017, near Mellen Street. The Washington State Patrol didn’t immediately identify the commercial truck driver or the critically injured motorist. Trooper Will Finn announced the suspected involvement of alcohol on the truck driver’s part on Twitter: 

“Chehalis NB I5/Milepost 81. FULLY BLOCKED! Semi vs. car serious injury crash. Driver of semi arrested for impairment. – Felony charges.’’

Trooper Finn is the State Patrol’s District 5 Public Information Officer for Clark, Skamania, Klickitat, Cowlitz, and Lewis counties.

The injured man was flown to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. Trooper Finn told a reporter that the State Patrol had been getting calls of the 2006 Freightliner driving erratically, and that the tractor trailer failed to slow for stopped traffic. Its driver was evaluated by an expert, found to be impaired and was arrested, he said.


Drinking and Driving
Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes.

DUI, DWI, and drunk driving negligence by semi-truck drivers is a horrible breach of traffic safety punishable via sentencing in criminal court and in civil court under a semi truck accident lawsuitDUI truck accident victims have special legal rights stemming from state and federal regulations of the trucking industry. Those laws compel professional drivers to stay far away from drugs and alcohol and keep a log book of their hours behind the wheel. Trucking companies, also regulated by the government to keep rigs in safe condition, properly driven and properly loaded, can be sued for monetary compensation by crash victims. And in some cases, semi-truck lawsuits can be filed on behalf of crash victims against the companies whose freight was being carried.


A man was killed when a semi driver, who was later arrested for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated, collided with his vehicle. A report from the Vermillion County Sheriff’s office said a Freightliner semi and trailer southbound in the northbound lanes of State Road 63 hit a pickup truck on a curve. The commercial truck driver was jailed on criminal charges.


The driver of a Ford car traveling north on Highway 42 illegally moved into the southbound lane, striking the driver of a motorcycle and a car. Alcohol was present in the system of the driver of the Ford. The driver of the motorcycle did not survive his injuries. Though no specifics about the cause the accident have been released, it appears alcohol may have contributed to this fatal accident.

About Pritzker Hageman Law Firm

In semi truck lawsuits filed by Pritzker Hageman attorneys, our clients have won millions of dollars, giving them money to pay for medical expenses and to compensate for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other harm. Courts grant punitive damages above and beyond costs and expenses when truck drivers exhibit extremely bad behavior or gross negligence. In many truck injury or truck death cases, financial recovery and holding truckers and trucking companies accountable for unsafe driving go hand in hand. 

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Category: Accidents
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