LYNNWOOD — A woman suspected of impaired driving on Wednesday crossed into a closed carpool lane, where she rear-ended a stopped emergency vehicle at “full speed,” leaving a road worker with serious injuries, according to authorities.
A state Department of Transportation worker, 54, of Snohomish, parked a Chevy Silverado — marked with orange-and-white decals of the DOT’s Incident Response Team — in a toll lane south of Canyon Park on I-405 because of an earlier crash, according to reports by the Washington State Patrol.
The truck had an illuminated board directing traffic to stay out of the northbound lane. Its emergency lights were flashing, troopers wrote.
A Kirkland woman, 26, drove a 2008 Toyota Sienna minivan through the closure and into the carpool lane around 10:05 a.m, according to the State Patrol. She rear-ended the truck at high speed. The impact demolished the front of the van and partly folded the pickup bed.
The Snohomish man suffered a severe concussion, soft tissue injuries throughout his body and “damage to the nerve bundle of his left shoulder,” reported Trooper Kris Siversten in a document filed Thursday in Everett District Court. An ambulance took the worker to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Both drivers were wearing seatbelts, the State Patrol reported.
The Kirkland woman was taken to a hospital by ambulance. Her injuries were not considered life-threatening. She had a “raspy voice along with pinpoint pupils,” and she admitted to using heroin the past few days, the trooper wrote. Law enforcement noted seeing a glass pipe and a white powder on the van’s floorboard on the driver’s side. A second glass pipe was found on the suspect at the hospital.
Troopers obtained a warrant to have her blood drawn and tested for intoxicants.
Court records suggest the van was registered to another woman from Sequim.
The Kirkland woman was booked into the Snohomish County Jail in Everett for investigation of vehicular assault.
Northbound traffic was bottle-necked as troopers investigated.
The crash was just north of the King-Snohomish county line.
According to the state DOT, that stretch of I-405 is “one of the most congested corridors in the state, serving an area that is exceeding regional population growth estimates.”
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.