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Semi driver hurt, SR-20 cut off as crash damages bridge by Diablo Lake

Semi, and a flatbed loaded with plywood, careened and rolled at the bridge near Diablo Lake Friday night, June 10, 2016, cutting off the road for hours in eastern Whatcom County.
Semi, and a flatbed loaded with plywood, careened and rolled at the bridge near Diablo Lake Friday night, June 10, 2016, cutting off the road for hours in eastern Whatcom County. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A semi truck crash near Diablo Lake damaged a bridge Friday night, June 10, cutting off the road for hours in eastern Whatcom County.

Jaskamal S. Purewal, 26, had been driving west on Highway 20 when he lost control of his ’06 Volvo tractor in a downhill curve around 8:45 p.m.

The semi, and a flatbed loaded with plywood, careened and rolled at the bridge by the popular Colonial Creek campground, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The truck crashed with great force, said Sgt. Mark Francis. Plywood spilled out damaging “trees and guardrail alike,” while part of the semi dangled over the side of the bridge, according to the state patrol. The road remained shut down through the night.

Purewal, of Surrey, B.C., suffered injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening. He was treated at United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley. He’s expected to face a citation, with a possible charge of negligent driving in the second degree. He was trucking for Ambition Transport Ltd., of Surrey, according to the state patrol.

The state Department of Transportation sent a bridge technician to check for structural damage. The DOT tweeted 8:30 a.m. that the road had reopened.

Each year the majestic stretch of road, known as the North Cascades Highway, closes due to snow. The route from Winthrop to Sedro-Woolley opened to traffic April 22.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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