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Monday, December 4, 2023
Dec. 4, 2023

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Emergencies on I-5 and I-205 snarl traffic

By , Columbian Web Editor

A series of emergencies on Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 early Wednesday made for extensive traffic jams and lengthy morning commutes for many Clark County motorists.

Just before 7 a.m., Washington State Patrol Troopers responded to a crash on the southbound lanes of the Interstate 5 Bridge. A spokesperson for the Washington Department of Transportation said it took responders about 40 minutes to clear that crash.

As traffic moved over to I-205, there was another crash shortly after 7 a.m., on the Glenn Jackson Bridge, State Patrol spokesman Trooper Will Finn said.

That was shortly followed, at 8:34 a.m., by a road rage incident that ended in a three-vehicle crash on I-205 near exit 27. Investigators determined a driver, identified as Luis Alvarez Llamas, 40, from California, crashed into a Washington driver, which pushed them into an Oregon driver and into the shoulder of the highway, Finn said.

Troopers referred charges of reckless driving and third-degree driving with a suspended license against Alvarez Llamas, he said.

Then crews responded to reports of a man dangling his legs off the Interstate 5 Bridge. As first responders arrived, Finn said the man got into a car, which left. Troopers did not have any contact with the man, according to Finn.

There were no serious injuries in any of the incidents, he said.

At about 9:45 a.m., crews then responded to a disabled vehicle blocking the right lane of I-5 near the bridge. That crash was cleared at about 10 a.m., according to WSDOT’s Twitter.

The series of unfortunate events created backups from the Columbia River to Hazel Dell on Interstate 5 and from the river nearly to Salmon Creek on Interstate 205. Traffic on downtown Vancouver streets gridlocked as motorists attempted to find ways through the snarl.

Backups plagued both interstates well into the lunch hour, but mostly cleared up by the afternoon commute.

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