Driver of truck that overturned on I-5, releasing millions of bees, gets $550 ticket

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EVERETT, Wash. — The driver of a tractor-trailer that overturned on Interstate 5 last month, releasing many of the 40 million bees it was carrying, has been issued a $550 ticket.

The Everett Herald said Wednesday that troopers cited the truck driver with second-degree negligent driving for the accident April 17 and issued him the ticket.

However, the Washington State Department of Transportation is billing the driver’s insurance company $6,400 for costs associated with traffic control and the extra crews needed to get the freeway moving again, the Herald said.

The crash occurred sometime before 4 a.m. April 17 at the intersection of I-5 and I-405 near Lynnwood. The semi blew a front tire and overturned, spilling 448 honey bee hives onto their side on the roadway.

The driver was not injured.

The bees remained calm at first in the cool morning air, but are grew increasingly agitated, WSP troopers said.  Firefighters on the scene sprayed the bees with water, and a company from Burlington suited up in an attempt to calm and remove the bees.

Data pix.

By 9 a.m., the truck was righted and fire crews sprayed water on the remaining bees, killing them. Beekeepers said that was necessary, as the bees continued to grow more active and branch out.

The owners of the bees reported they were only able to salvage 72 of the 448 hives, the Herald said.



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