Semi overturns on SR 99, creates Seattle traffic nightmare; roadway closed more than 8 hours

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The overturned truck was righted at about 7:05 p.m. Tuesday. (Photo credit: David Rosen)

The overturned truck was righted at about 7:05 p.m. Tuesday. (Photo credit: David Rosen/West Seattle Herald)

SEATTLE (AP) — A large commercial truck filled with a load of fish overturned Tuesday afternoon, blocking a section of the southbound lanes of State Route 99 in south Seattle and starting a domino effect of gridlock that stalled rush-hour traffic for hours.

Seattle police say the truck driver was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say they’ll be investigating whether any violations are involved.

As the hours passed, traffic ground ever slower on surface streets and Interstate 5 through Seattle.

Data pix.

At one point, city transportation officials said a cross-town trip in a different area of the city — from Elliott Bay to I-5 — took an hour. That's a distance of a little more than a mile.

And at 9:05 p.m. Tuesday, the Seattle Department of Transportation indicated southbound SR 99 wouldn't be opening anytime soon:

At 10:54 p.m., SDOT tweeted this:

At 11:24 p.m., SDOT tweeted that the truck and trailer had been cleared away and indicated the southbound lanes would reopen sometime after midnight:


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  • Kit

    What is the matter with the authorities? Why did it take so long to remove the blocking vehicle? The unconscionable delays from a non fatal accident make the city look extremely inept when dealing with traffic problems. This happened right before a soccer game and the afternoon commute.

  • Truthbug

    A history of horrendously unwise decisions concerning routes and roads in Seattle and nearby cities has resulted in a situation which reduces the quality of life in the area. The cost of the cure will be astronomical both in dollars and personal pain for many. Has anyone considered the wisdom of laying out a pattern of travel routes first and letting the city (cities?) grow there?

  • Truthbug

    Why do we squabble over details of the latest miserable situation but fail to seek understanding of why we set out on the path that brought us into the present mess? Maybe we could avoid stupid results in the future! Anyone think we should try to choose more intelligently? What direction are our “leaders” taking us?

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