In less than a week, 9 people killed or hurt in crashes involving semis in Washington

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SEATTLE — It’s been a dangerous week on the roads as nine people have been killed or hurt in crashes involving semis since last Thursday in Washington state — all but one of those in the Puget Sound area.

The most recent federal data shows the number of trucks and buses involved in deadly crashes nationwide increased 8-percent from 2014 to 2015. That year, 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes. The trend has been growing since 2009, according to the data.

Here’s a recap of the recent crashes:

Thursday, May 11

A 46-year-old man was killed when a semi truck carrying a shipping container crashed on Interstate 5 in Tacoma around 11:30 a.m. Video from the scene showed a shipping container on its side over the barrier separating the north and southbound lanes. Troopers said the tractor trailer struck a box truck while traveling northbound, setting off a chain reaction. Three other vehicles were involved in the crash — none of those occupants were seriously hurt.

Around the same time, one person was hurt when a semi jackknifed blocking several lanes of Interstate 5 near Eastside Street in Olympia. Multiple lanes were blocked for hours.

Sunday, May 14

One person in a van was seriously hurt in a crash with a semi Sunday afternoon on SR 18. The road was closed between Interstate 90 and Issaquah-Hobart Road for several hours. The cause is under investigation.

A few hours later, a semi truck crashed into a home in Roy. The driver was taken to a local trauma center. In this case, Washington State Patrol Trooper Brooke Bova said the driver suffered a medical issue prior to the crash.

Monday, May 15

A 27-year-old man was killed in Lakewood after his car broke down in the middle of Interstate 5 and a semi-truck slammed into the back of it early Monday morning, according to Washington State Patrol. Troopers say the car was wedged under the semi-truck. State troopers closed several lanes of southbound I-5 near Gravelly Lake Drive SW. Investigators were expected to reopen the lanes before the morning commute. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

At 2:30 p.m., WSP Trooper Brian Moore said the driver of a semi truck died after crashing into a home near Othello in Grant County. Moore said the semi caught fire and started a small brush fire that threatened a home. Highway 17 was closed during the investigation.

Traffic was backed up for miles on northbound I-5 on Monday after a car and semi collided. The crash happened just south of the Highway 18 exit, South King Fire reported. One person had to be extricated from the wreckage.

A driver was killed around 7 p.m. Monday when a tractor-trailer took the Ellingson exit off of southbound SR 167 and hit a small car, which was pushed into two other cars, the Washington State Patrol said. Medics performed CPR on 30-year-old man involved in the crash, but he died at the scene. A 26-year-old Kent woman was taken to the hospital. The cause of the crash is under investigation.