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LAKEWOOD, Wash. — Washington State Patrol (WSP) identified a vehicle that may have been involved in a fatal accident on Interstate 5 Thursday morning.
Two men died after a loose tire went through the windshield of a passenger van near Lakewood, according to WSP.
The accident happened just after 5:30 a.m. on northbound I-5 near the Bridgeport exit. The right lane and off-ramp to Bridgeport was closed for just over four hours.
Law enforcement officials believe a white, newer model Ford pickup was involved in the incident. The F-350 or larger towing a car hauler trailer was seen prior to the incident on I-5 near Mounts Road at 5:16 a.m.
Witnesses told WSP they saw the wheel on the right, rear side of the vehicle being hauled by the truck fall off. The truck is believed to continued northbound after the wheel was lost.
The truck has a color-matched front bumper, chrome grille, LED headlights and a DOT number posted on the side.
The work van was traveling from Shelton to Enumclaw.
The tire broke through the windshield of a 15-passenger van carrying eight people. Several people were struck by the tire. An 18-year-old man and 55-year-old man were killed. One person was taken to the hospital and five other passengers were uninjured.
All the people inside the van were from Shelton, according to information from WSP.
Law enforcement does not know where the tire came from. A WSP trooper said it’s possible another driver may have hit the tire and it popped up and hit the van, or it could have come off another car and then hit the van.
“Obviously, we feel for the driver we feel for everyone in that car, because it’s really not their fault. It’s something that could happen to anyone and there’s nothing they could really do to avoid it,” said Trooper John Dattilo.
The latest traffic data from Washington State Department of Transportation shows there have been nearly 2,400 serious wrecks so far this year with more than 500 fatalities statewide. Last year, there were 750 lives lost in wrecks in Washington.
WSP troopers are asking witnesses, or anyone with additional information about the fatal incident, to contact WSP Trooper Cody Fath at email@example.com or by calling 360-764-0922.
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