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Here’s what made it difficult to travel south out of Bellingham on Wednesday evening

Firefighters block a lane of traffic where a FedEx semi-truck lost control Wednesday evening on a curve near the North Lake Samish exit.
Firefighters block a lane of traffic where a FedEx semi-truck lost control Wednesday evening on a curve near the North Lake Samish exit. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A semi-truck driver lost control Wednesday night on a curve on southbound Interstate 5 near North Lake Samish, forcing a car off the freeway and the semi to tip onto its side, officials said.

According to the Washington State Patrol report on the crash, at approximately 6:18 p.m. a FedEx truck driven by Jody van Putten, 57, was in the right-hand lane just north of the milepost 246 when he drifted left and forced a 2015 Subaru Outback into the left-side ditch. The truck also went into the ditch and came to rest on its side.

Van Putten, who is from Mount Vernon, suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital, said Trooper Travis Shearer.

Two people from Anacortes in the Subaru — driver Lauren Conrardy, 19, and her passenger, Victoria Stowe, 68 — escaped injury.

All three people were wearing seat belts, according to the state patrol report.

Van Putten’s truck, a 2005 Freightliner pulling a box trailer, was a total loss, the accident report said.

No damage was reported to the Subaru, but it was towed out of the ditch, the report said.

The cause of the crash wasn’t listed, pending outcome of the investigation, but no tickets were issued at the scene.

Traffic backed up for about six hours, according to a tweet from the state Department of Transportation.

Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.

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