LAKE STEVENS – A dump truck accident this morning sent one man to the hospital, spilled hundreds of gallons of diesel into a ditch and closed a section of Highway 92 just east of Lake Stevens.
The accident, which also involved a pickup truck, occurred at 8:20 a.m. during the morning commute, according to the Washington State Patrol.
The dump truck was eastbound on Highway 92 and a red pickup truck was westbound when the pickup crossed over the centerline, the State Patrol reported.
The dump truck driver, James Wallis, 61, of Lake Stevens, said he tried to avoid a head-on collision but couldn’t . The collision pushed his rig into the ditch.
“I’m sore stiff, and jittery, but considering what happened I’m okay,” Wallis said.
“He came right over the line and ran right into me,” Wallis said. “I hope he’s alright. When he first came across the line, I tried to get out of his way.”
The pickup driver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The nature of his injuries was not immediately available.
The pickup’s driver had to be extricated from the wreckage by firefighters using hydraulic rescue tools, Lake Stevens Fire Battalion Chief Travis Hots said.
The man sustained life-threatening injuries, Hots said.
About 50 gallons of diesel was spilled during the crash. The state Department of Ecology has been called to lead the clean-up.
The dump truck was in a ditch and the right side fuel tank had been covered in grass and mud. It wasn’t immediately clear if it was leaking, Trooper Robert Skinner said.
This morning’s accident is the third major collision along the same stretch of Highway 92 over the last two months, said Wayne Aukerman, a traffic officer for the Lake Stevens Police Department.
Highway 92 was reopened at 12:08 p.m. today.