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74-year-old man hospitalized after being hit by semi on Interstate 5 near Sunset

Traffic backs up Thursday, March 28, 2019, on southbound Interstate 5 just south of Sunset Drive in Bellingham after a collision blocking the right lane.
Traffic backs up Thursday, March 28, 2019, on southbound Interstate 5 just south of Sunset Drive in Bellingham after a collision blocking the right lane. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A 74-year-old man was transported to the hospital Thursday morning after he was hit by a semi-truck on southbound Interstate 5 near the Sunset Drive crossing, official reports said.

Few details were available about the accident, but police and firefighters were sent to I-5 south of Sunset at 10:50 a.m., said Trooper Travis Shearer of the Washington State Patrol.

“There was a disabled vehicle on the shoulder and a semi drove by in (the right-hand lane) and struck the pedestrian,” Shearer told The Bellingham Herald.

He said the man suffered a cut on his head, but he was conscious and alert as Bellingham firefighters examined him.

Firefighters rushed him by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital, Shearer said.

Shearer said it was unclear initially if the truck drifted to the right or if the pedestrian stepped onto the freeway.

“Somehow, the semi struck the pedestrian,” he said.

He said the pedestrian was someone from the car, but he was unsure if it was the driver or a passenger.

Meanwhile, the right lane of southbound I-5 was temporarily closed for the investigation and southbound traffic was backed up beyond the Meridian Street exit, according to an online WSDOT traffic map shortly after the incident.

The victim’s age was corrected Friday, March 29, 2019.

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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