More information has been released by the State Patrol:
James Harmon was just north of 56th Street in Tacoma around 7:30 p.m., when he swerved to avoid the tarp; his vehicle collided with another car whose driver, Mathew Duran, 18, also swerved. The collision sent Harmon’s vehicle spinning off to the left, where it was struck by a large tow truck that was towing a Metro bus.
The tow truck, driven by Jerry Hawbaker, 38, of University Place, pushed Harmon’s vehicle into the concrete jersey barrier and then veered to the left, striking a pickup driven by Pat Davis, 37, of Spanaway. Hawbaker’s truck went through the jersey barrier, pushing one of the barriers into northbound lanes and causing it to hit a car driven by Carla Levell, 51, of Fife.
There are federal and state laws which require commercial motor vehicles to carry insurance. These laws are designed to protect motorists involved in an accident caused by a large truck. We would be happy to provide additional information to the persons injured and families affected by this accident.
Harmon was fatally injured in the crash and died at the scene. The five-year-old boy, who was seated behind Harmon, was taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital with life threatening injuries.
Christina Wheeler, 24, who was in the front passenger seat of Harmon’s vehicle, was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Levell, the driver who was on northbound I-5 and was struck by the jersey barrier, was also taken to St. Joseph’s with non-life threatening injuries.
Two lanes of both southbound and northbound I-5 were closed until early this morning as the collisions were investigated.
Accident investigators believe the large maroon tarp that was in the roadway came from a commercial truck and had probably been used to cover a load. The Patrol is asking anyone with information about where the tarp came from to call 253-536-4386.
The complete story appears at the Seattle Times website: Chain Reaction Crash on I-5