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Jackknifed pickup with commercial boat causes 5-mile backup near Lake Samish

A Ford F350 towing a 34-foot long commercial boat – 50 feet long with trailer attached – jackknifed on northbound Interstate 5 near Lake Samish Monday.
A Ford F350 towing a 34-foot long commercial boat – 50 feet long with trailer attached – jackknifed on northbound Interstate 5 near Lake Samish Monday. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A jackknifed pickup hauling a commercial fishing boat caused a five-mile backup on northbound Interstate 5 near Lake Samish Monday.

The crash occurred around 12:45 p.m. near milepost 245. A Ford F350 towing a 34-foot long commercial boat – 50 feet long with trailer attached – jackknifed. All together, the weight totaled more than 13,000 pounds, according to Trooper Heather Axtman with Washington State Patrol.

Details about how the pickup jackknifed were not immediately known. Two vehicles were involved, but there were no injuries. Axtman said both lanes were expected to be cleared by 3 p.m.

The Washington State Department of Transportation was advising travelers to avoid the area and use state Route 9, or state Route 11; to delay the trip entirely; or to stop and wait at the Bow Hill Safety Rest Area.

Axtman said two trucks would have to be used, one for the pickup and the other for the boat. Because of the boat’s size, a commercial tow truck will have to be used, she said.

“It has to be a Class C tow truck, and not a lot of towing companies have them. They’re much larger and are used for commercial vehicles,” Axtman said. “Since the fishing boat is so large it’s being considered as a commercial vehicle.”

Axtman said the state patrol’s commercial vehicle division was on scene to assess and inspect whether the pickup was over its towing capacity, meaning the driver would then be issued a citation.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt

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