The man, 26, is under investigation for drunken driving.
The incident happened just after 2 a.m. on southbound I-5 near Highway 526.
The Bothell man initially was driving south on the freeway in a 1997 Plymouth Breeze, according to the Washington State Patrol. He exited at the Silver Lake rest area but then drove north in the southbound lanes. He hit two oncoming cars.
Traffic stalled on the freeway. That's when a southbound car rear-ended a car stopped for the accident, triggering a chain reaction.
Four people were hospitalized. None of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.
Three lanes of the freeway at Broadway were blocked for about three hours.
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