Live electrical wires on I-5 stop traffic for hours

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A vehicle slammed into a utility pole at NE 125th and 5th NE
Power to this area will not be restored until Sunday morning
Power Outage Map from Seattle City Light


A violent collision with a utility pole knocked out power to 2500 north Seattle residents, stopped traffic on north and southbound I-5, and caused a rollover accident on I-5.

The incident was reported to City Light around 8:15am Saturday morning.

A driver managed to slam into a utility pole in the vicinity of 5th NE and NE 125th in north Seattle.

When the pole went down, it snapped the electrical wires, which fell across both north and southbound lanes of I-5.

Vehicles were trapped in the Hot Zone,
sitting in the middle of live electrical lines
Photo by Washington State Patrol


A vehicle on the freeway reportedly got tangled in the wires and flipped over. A second vehicle was damaged. It does not appear that the drivers were badly hurt.

Shoreline Fire and Washington State patrol responded, along with City Light crews.

Motorists were trapped on the freeway, sitting in the middle of live, high voltage power lines as well as an accident scene.

Southbound lanes were cleared after about an hour and northbound cars began crossing the median to get away.

City Light crews were still working as the sun went down
They expect to work all night to restore power
Photo from Seattle City Light


It took a couple of hours to clear the wires and the accident from the northbound lanes. Side streets were backing up as well. About 11am the northbound lanes were opened.

At the peak, 2500 north Seattle customers were without power. Those in the vicinity of the downed pole are not expected to have power until early Sunday morning. Crews have been working all day and are expected to work all night until all repairs have been done and power is restored.



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