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Dump truck crashes on Highway 18; driver unhurt but arrested
For the Reporter
A dump truck driver was arrested today following a crash on eastbound Highway 18 just east of Southeast 272 Street.
The Washington State Patrol arrested the adult male driver on suspicion of DUI.
The dump truck and trailer he was driving had veered off the highway and jack-knifed into Jenkins Creek between Covington and Maple Valley at 12:08 this afternoon. One car driving behind the dump truck drove over a sign that that had been knocked onto the highway by the crash. That driver was unhurt, and after meeting with the WSP, was able to leave the scene.
When the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority arrived, the driver was out of the truck and on the shoulder of the road. After ensuring that the driver was unhurt and turning him over to the WSP, firefighters quickly began setting up a boom made of absorbent material across the creek to catch any diesel fuel or oil that might escape the truck. A second set of absorbent material was added further downstream as a precaution. The Department of Ecology is on scene to help control runoff and to investigate the environmental impact.
Two large tow trucks were called in to carefully upright and pull the cab portion of the truck up the embankment and onto the shoulder of the road. Firefighters used a circular saw and chain saw to remove a damaged portion of guardrail to create space for the towing operation.
The right lane of eastbound Highway 18 had been closed during the operation and was expected to remain closed for several more hours while the bed of the truck and the trailer are brought up.
The truck and trailer were carrying sand, most of which spilled into the creek.