A 73-year-old man from Blaine died and a 34-year-old man from Ferndale was hospitalized in a crash that started when another car struck a deer Wednesday afternoon on northbound Interstate 5 north of the Bow Hill Road exit.
Delton K. Walter was killed when the 2010 Toyota Prius he was a passenger in was struck by a 2005 red Volvo tractor trailer driven by Valery Kalashinikov, 63 of Bellevue, at 2:16 p.m., according to a Washington State Patrol release on the incident. Jeremy Permen, 34 of Ferndale, who was driving the Prius, was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with injuries he suffered in the accident.
According to the release, the semi was traveling northbound near milepost 236 in the left lane, while the Prius was stopped in the right lane behind a silver 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander driven by Kaleigh A. Thomas, 31 of Lynden, after the Outlander hit a deer.
The semi attempted to change lanes to avoid an uninvolved slowing vehicle in the left lane, according to the release, but was unable to stop and struck the Prius, pushing it into the Outlander.
Thomas and Kalashnikov were uninjured in the collision, according to the report, and the Outlander and Prius were totaled and towed from the scene.
Permen was wearing a seat belt, but it was unknown if Walter was, the release said, and the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Both lanes of the freeway were closed for a couple of hours while the scene was investigated and cleared, though cars were able to use the nearby rest stop to divert around the closure.