A Kent man was arrested for investigation of hit and run and a Kent woman suffered injuries in two separate crashes on Thursday along northbound Interstate 5 in Federal Way that backed up traffic for miles.
At about 9 a.m., five vehicles were involved in a crash along the freeway near South 288th Street, according to the Washington State Patrol. The driver of a 2008 black Mercedes ML350 traveled at a high rate of speed in the left shoulder in heavy traffic.
The Mercedes struck the rear of a vehicle in the HOV lane, which caused a chain reaction of three more vehicles being struck. Two occupants of the Mercedes fled the vehicle, including a 22-year-old Kent man and 22-year-old Lynnwood man.
One occupant reportedly attempted to carjack multiple vehicles, but was detained by witnesses until taken into custody by law enforcement. The second suspect was apprehended by the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Both men were arrested for investigation of hit and run as troopers try to determine which man was the driver.
“One of the two passengers is the driver,” said State Patrol spokesman Rick Johnson on Friday. “Detectives are still trying to determine through witnesses which one it is. They are both denying that they were driving.”
Detectives also are trying to determine which man attempted the reported carjackings.
“We have conflicting statements in reference to the potential carjacking,” Johnson said. “They are still investigating that part.”
One person was injured in the crash. Paramedics transported a 61-year-old Gig Harbor woman, a passenger in the first vehicle hit by the Mercedes, to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with undisclosed injuries.
The State Patrol listed speed by the Mercedes as the cause of the crash.
A second hit-and-run crash at about 4:14 p.m. injured a 21-year-old Kent woman and involved four vehicles. The crash was near the I-5 northbound weigh station, south of the Wild Waves water park.
The driver of a blue 2007 Ford Fusion was traveling in lane one at a speed unsafe for traffic conditions and struck the rear of the Kent woman’s car, a 2007 Mini Cooper, according to the State Patrol. The Kent woman was unconscious inside the vehicle and was extricated by emergency responders. Paramedics transported the woman to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.
Nobody else was injured.
The Ford Fusion caught fire. Troopers are looking for a 46-year-old Federal Way man, the driver of the Fusion, for investigation of hit and run after he fled the scene. As of Friday, he had not yet been arrested. Speed was the cause of the crash, according to the State Patrol.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated about the status of accused driver in the second crash.