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Semi-Truck/Light Rail Vehicle Collision in South Seattle

On June 1st at approximately 9:00 a.m. officers responded to a vehicle collision between a semi-truck and a Sound Transit Light Rail Vehicle.  Preliminary investigation indicates that a semi-truck hauling a 53-foot box trailer filled with approximately 48,000 pounds of canned soda pop was southbound on MLK Jr Way South approaching South Holly Street.  When the driver of the semi-truck realized he was headed in the wrong direction (away from his intended destination) he initiated a left turn from southbound MLK Jr Way South to eastbound South Holly Street.  As he did so, the semi-truck driver collided with a southbound-traveling Sound Transit Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) that was approaching the intersection with the right-of-way signal.

The LRV struck the back of the semi’s box trailer causing a back portion of the trailer (including the tandem axles) to separate from the forward part of the trailer.  A substantial amount of the trailer’s contents spilled onto the roadway and railroad right-of-way.

No serious injuries were reported as a result of this collision.

Both the semi-truck driver and LRV operator were evaluated for signs of impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs.  No impairment was detected. 

Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Squad officers responded to the scene and inspected the semi-truck and operator records.  No equipment or log book violations were noted. 

Due to the excessive amount of debris on the railroad right-of-way, northbound and southbound LRV service wasn’t restored until approximately 1:00 p.m.  Vehicular traffic on northbound MLK Jr Way South was re-opened at approximately 2:00 p.m.  Southbound vehicular traffic was re-opened at approximately 2:30 p.m. 

There were no citations issued at the scene, which is standard procedure in serious traffic collisions requiring extensive follow up investigation and collision reconstruction.

Traffic Collision Investigation Squad detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate.