Fatal I-90 Accident Near Highway 18 Possibly Caused by Cooler in Roadway, Snarls Evening Traffic

** UPDATE, Wednesday, 9/18/2013: Washington State Patrol say they located the driver of the vehicle that lost the cooler suspected of causing the I-90 accident that took the life of an 80-year old North Bend man. Trooper Chris Webb said the driver is cooperating as troopers continue to investigate. ***


Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Webb explained via Twitter Friday evening, September 13, 2013, that it appeared a cooler coming loose from a boat being transported on eastbound near the SR-18/I-90 interchange may have caused a fatal accident, snarling traffic on I-90.

One witness, Stephanie Sprouse, reported seeing the accident around 5:15PM.  She commented that “a truck was on fire in ditch with the back trailer flown off it … two or three ahead of it in ditch and 10 cars or so pulled over helping … sadly they were doing CPR on the man.”  She said many bystanders attempted to help as she called 911 requesting an ambulance immediately.

WSP Trooper Chris Webb tweeted that a “vehicle swerves to avoid cooler in road and side swipes vehicle 2. Both vehicles come to rest in median.”

Webb later reported that an elderly man was driving a red pickup truck that swerved to miss the cooler and was then struck by a suburban, breaking the truck apart. The trooper went on to add that CPR was performed on the driver of the truck at the scene, but he later died at Swedish Hospital in Issaquah.  He was reportedly an 80 year old man from North Bend.

According to the Twitter feed, DUI was not suspected in the collision, although a driver did submit to a voluntary blood draw.

Washington State Patrol is looking for the vehicle that may have lost the cooler.  According to TV new reports, witnesses were able to give police partial license plate numbers of that suspected vehicle.

Photo screenshot:KOMO News video

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  • As an enforcement officer working the roads before retirement my policy was to “take no prisoners” when it came to careless load securement. Remember the poor lady who lost her eyesight and face when some wood flew off a load! If you see accidents like this waiting to happen please call the state patrol on 911 and let them know it!

    1. Hi Art;
      Maria is the young lady that had her face peeled off back in 2004. I met her mom this week. The mom, Robin Abel wrote a book about Maria’s accident & load safety.
      Here’s a link to a photo of Robin & her book.

      I hope the people that lost their ice chest turn themselves in to the police.

    2. That was my first thought. “Unsecured” loads kill people. Maria Federici is the woman whose terrible injuries from just such a load caused her blindness and TBI. Take an extra 5, 10 or even 60 minutes or more to make sure your load doesn’t break loose and kill an innocent bystander.
      Was this worth your hurried packing for your “last campout of the summer”?

  • This was my dear friends father who passed. I am so sad. Apparently very preventable. My heart aches.

    1. Heidi- please know that many people worked on your friends father. We tried very hard to help him. He did not appear to be suffering in any way whatsoever. I know that if i was his family I would want to know that. Peace to his family and friends.

  • I was a good friend with this poor man and when I heard about it it was a big shock. I hadn’t heard about it until a friend commented to me about it. I had coffee with him every morning with the group. He well be missed

  • Living Snoqualmie