Traffic backed up for miles Monday morning on northbound Interstate 5 due to two crashes, one involving tractor-trailers that caught fire, near Ridgefield.
Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue, AMR and Washington State Patrol responded around 8:46 a.m. to a pickup truck and tractor-trailer crash that had stopped northbound traffic, according to Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.
The crash was near Milepost 20 at the northbound I-5 bridge over the Lewis River. No one was injured in the first crash, the fire agency stated.
About an hour later, crews responded to a tractor-trailer crash in the back-up from the first crash. Two tractor-trailers, one carrying a load of pallets, crashed around 9:56 a.m. near Exit 14 in Ridgefield under the Pioneer Street Overpass. One of the trucks veered off the highway and caught fire, according to fire crews. The flames spread to the other truck and surrounding brush, but crews were able to contain most of the fire damage to one truck, the fire department stated.
One driver was taken to the hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, according to Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.
Two of the three northbound lanes reopened as of 11:15 a.m. after having been closed for emergency responders, according to Washington State Patrol. Authorities expected to reopen the third lane shortly thereafter.
Traffic was backed up for 7 miles with slowing back to the I-205 merge until nearly 2 p.m. The Washington Department of Transportation reported that the entire freeway had opened to traffic just before 2:15 p.m.
Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue and the Washington State Patrol were assisted by Ridgefield Police and TLC Towing.