Semi crash spills 57,000-pound load of plywood on highway near Sumas

A semi hauling a 57,000-pound load of plywood overturned when its driver took a bend in the road too fast Monday afternoon, March 30, on a rural highway southwest of Sumas, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Just before 3 p.m. the fully loaded Freightliner semi crashed while southbound at a bend in Highway 9 south of East Badger Road, near Nooksack Valley High School.

The driver, Jagjit Brar, 27, of Abbotsford, B.C., had taken the turn too fast, said Trooper Mark Francis. He lost control and the semi crossed over into northbound traffic, then flipped over spilling tons of lumber onto the roadside. The flatbed trailer came to a rest upside down on the asphalt, while the tractor tipped onto its side.

Brar escaped with only a cut to his left arm. He’d been wearing a seat belt.

Francis said Brar will be cited for “speed too fast for conditions.” Troopers don’t suspect drugs or alcohol were involved. No other vehicles were damaged.

Both lanes of traffic were blocked for hours while workers tried to clean up the scene and tow the semi. Traffic was detoured down Lindsay Road. That stretch of Nooksack Road wasn’t expected to reopen until around 8 p.m.