** 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.